UVUSA campaign team refutes guilt, refuses comment

UVUSA campaign team refutes guilt, refuses comment

The Elections Committee determines punishment for candidate infractions. Photo: Gilbert Cisneros/UVU REVIEW

Evidence surfaced last week suggesting that members of this year’s UVUSA Student Council, some of whom will be running in elections for next year’s Student Body Presidency, sponsored a campaign event via Facebook that did not have the necessary approval of the Elections Committee. According to election rules, both the Facebook event page as well as confirmed event activities were violations.

 

The validity of this infraction has since been refuted by numerous respondents in the form of comment posts on the online version of last week’s article.

 

Amidst the slew of comments spurred by this and other articles about the incumbent UVUSA team, one comment under the name “David Millet” indicated that Millet “would love to sit down with any one of you and tell you exactly how me and my team did not break any rules and how the elections committee also agrees with this.”

 

Upon sitting down with Vice President of Academics David Millet, he declined comment on the situation. When asked over the phone about the situation, Millet’s assistant Daniel Diaz, who was listed as one of the co-authors on the Facebook page in question, also declined comment.

 

Both Diaz and Millet mentioned that they were concerned that their words would be used inappropriately, twisted or otherwise misconstrued by the UVU Review. Also, Millet declined when presented with the opportunity to publish an unaltered written statement in this issue.

 

Upon further investigation, Director of Student Activities and Advisor to the Elections Committee Rebeka Grulich was asked about the event and its implications. According to Grulich, the committee was already aware of the event.

 

“The Election Committee has already dealt with that issue and I can’t really comment on it,” Grulich said.

 

Grulich insisted that releasing “current grievances” before the election would not be fair to any of the teams. Doing that, she said, would set up candidates for an “unfair attack” from their competitors.

 

Grulich reported that there has yet to be a campaign free of infractions from candidates.

 

“That’s the nature of what politics is,” Grulich said. “You have your interpretation of the rules and move forward and it’s up to the governing election body to agree or disagree with the candidate’s interpretation of the rules.”

 

But as part of the Elections Committee, Grulich argues, it is not her job to call attention to rule violations. The responsibility to get correct information about alleged infractions to student voters, she said, rests on the individual parties. To her, “it’s common sense” and promotes a “level playing field” for the candidates.

 

Assistant VP of Student Life and Dean of Students Bob Rasmussen admitted not knowing what it meant that the Elections Committee “dealt with” the issue, but he did say that events like the one in question are not always intended for direct campaigning.

 

“To have campaign parties where you invite people to be part of your campaign has been done for the 15 years I’ve been involved,” Rasmussen said.

 

The intentions of this event are unclear amidst the apparent infractions incurred by the existence of the Facebook event page. Unless Millet and his team divulge the event details, the lack of clarity will remain until after next year’s governing body has already been elected.

 

Rasmussen explained how the Elections Committee typically deals with complaints and infractions. The committee waits until the week before the campaign time starts before gathering “all the complaints from all the other parties,” and takes them into consideration before making decisions about possible punishments.

 

Punishments, if assigned, will most likely be a restriction that either takes violating teams “off the hallways” for a few hours or gives them poor location placement during campaign week.

 

By Jeff Jacobsen
Online Content Manager

15 Responses to "UVUSA campaign team refutes guilt, refuses comment"

  1. Sharece   February 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

    How ridiculous! They were given opportunity to comment, without revision, and they refused. I think they don’t understand how politics work, even at a university level.

    Reply
  2. Emily Stephenson   February 27, 2012 at 10:31 am

    I cannot believe they kept on saying no comment. That is the worst thing to do in a situation like this. Address the issue and get it over with.

    Reply
  3. MIndOfaGinger   February 27, 2012 at 11:21 am

    If there was a backwards bike race, UVUreview would have the best shot at winning. Back peddle pros, well making it look like they are not and spin it so it looks like a good follow up. Its not that the people in question refused but they said that they would comment after the elections. Its easy to paint the picture you want when you don’t have to show the whole picture. This “infraction” took place over a month ago and the committee knew about it and already took action. But now is when it gets reported on? Slow? Tipped off? Lazy? I thought the news was all about breaking a story As Soon As Possible not As Soon As Profitable.

    Reply
  4. Wade   February 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    “The very appearance of impropriety” will sometimes, and should sometimes, get you kicked out of office. That Millet wouldn’t comment, after he said he’d be happy to sit down and explain it, is very telling. In politics, you live by the rules and die by the rules.

    Reply
  5. matt   February 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I think the article above is exactly why they didn’t want to comment. The malice is obvious. Too far past informative.

    Reply
  6. VCR   February 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I don’t think they wanted to talk to THE PAPER because they didn’t want it used in the next article and have their words twisted into something completely different.

    Reply
    • Emma   February 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      As the article mentioned, of course, the paper offered to publish an unaltered statement by and in defense of the team in question. “Unaltered” as in not “twisted into something completely different.”

      Reply
  7. Anonomous   February 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Emma (Kelly Cannon),you failed to mention that the paper wouldn’t allow them to submit a a regular piece. They were told that it had to be a letter to the editor – which is limited to 200 words. This of course is not fair because the Review has unlimited space to print any sort of response in return. The UVU review doesn’t care about being honest or fair. They are verbal cronies that spat out vitriol in hopes of getting students to read.

    Reply
    • Emma   February 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      Anonymous, unlike some posters, I use my real name. Though I am not Kelly Cannon or any other Review staff member for that matter, I am well enough acquainted with the letter to the editor guidelines to know that a length of 300 words, not 200, is recommended, not required, for publication. If the Review solicited a letter to the editor from Millet et al., I’m quite certain that they would publish it in its entirety, especially given the controversy surrounding article to which their letter would respond.

      Also, given what seems to be your relatively intimate knowledge of how Millet’s team was asked to respond, it seems to me that you may be a person too close to the situation to make a public statement about it in your own name gracefully, if you catch my meaning.

      Reply
  8. chuck   February 29, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Oh look, another article about the current UVU student council.The council will probably just get a slap on the wrist and they will be allowed to go on their merry little way doing whatever they want just like they always do without having to really answer to anyone. If one of the other parties did something like this, you can bet your butt they would receive a heavy penalty, if not completely disqualified from the race. Appearance is everything in politics, and it appears its time for a new governing body.

    Reply
  9. Anthony   February 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Current UVU student council is flawed to say the least. Conflict of interest, bloated student fees that NO student knows the purpose of. I’ve been at UVU for 5 years, and none of the student councils have been as horrible as the current team. Time to step down and let completely NEW members change it up. My vote is for NO INCUMBENTS!

    Reply
  10. Karen   March 1, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I honestly feel like there needs to be an overall turn-over when it comes to UVUSA. As a student who was an avid member of the organization for 3 semesters, I saw the officers and committee heads transition. During the transition I saw many of the same attitudes and platforms trickle down into the new teams. The old team members often stay very close to home and continue to press forward with their ideas, only through new leaders. Not only do the student body officers and committee heads need a total reform, but the advisors as well. Being with UVUSA has opened my eyes to how the advisors pick favorites and tend to be more lenient with certain people. It honestly disgusts me that things like this are happening in an organization designed to benefit the student of UVU.

    Reply
    • Branden   March 2, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Interesting, Karen. It’s nice to hear the point of view of an insider who actually admits to favoritism and wrong-doing within the UVUSA. Seems like so many other members of the organization are hell-bent on keeping a squeaky clean image for the UVUSA that they deny anything and everything that may make them look bad.
      I think there are good people in the UVUSA, and that they do a lot of good things. But I also think that there is a lot of unfair favoritism and cover-ups that need to be addressed.
      The incumbent teams always tout experience as the biggest reason to vote for them. But as you suggest in your comment, sometimes that very experience can be a good reason to NOT vote for them. I don’t see much positive change happening if we continue to elect the same cookie-cutter candidates.

      Reply
  11. Ashley   March 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I am so sick of these articles. The Review has a huge chip on their shoulder from the 09 election that has been growing steadily. They will attack UVUSA and anyone connected with it at every opportunity. It gets old and I’m really ready to hear more of the student’s opinions, NOT the editors or opinion columnists’ opinions. Seriously DISGUSTED.

    Reply
    • Branden   March 2, 2012 at 7:57 am

      If you read through the comments on this and other articles about the UVUSA, then you WILL hear more opinions. Looks like it isn’t just the UVU Review who has a problem with them.

      Reply

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