Aug 10, 2020
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Ram Reyes/Collegian Archive

Student court to hold teleconference over election disputes

Story written by Larry Valenzuela and Zaeem Shaikh

The student court will be holding a teleconference to discuss Associated Students Inc. (ASI) election-related disputes, an ASI senator said.

According to Fidel Moreno-Meza, the current senator of athletics and recreation and newly elected vice president of external affairs, the teleconference will be held after 20 complaints were filed concerning the ASI election. 

Moreno-Meza, the chief justice of the court, declined to discuss the specific details regarding the complaints. 

However, Maci Steinhauer, the interim co-director of ASI, said the conference will address the dispute regarding the gift card giveaways.

In the teleconference, the court will also decide on the election of a vice chair, according to the student court agenda.

The teleconference will be broadcast to the public on ASI’s Facebook page on Thursday, April 2 at 6 p.m. 

Besides Moreno-Meza, the other members of the court are Jennifer Mandujano-Belman, Tanner Morgan, Nick Matoian and Lauryn Flores. 

Matoian shared his thoughts regarding the election dispute on Facebook.

“It was cleared through the ASI office,” Matoian said. “Get over it.”

The court reviews election violations and ensures that ASI bylaws are followed. There’s one vice-chief justice and four associate justices along with the chief justice.

According to section 6.02 of the ASI bylaws, the student court has the authority to issue and enforce decisions made in regards to the election of senators and officers.  

Only one member of the student court shall also be a student senator, specifically the senator elected secretary of the student senate, which is Moreno-Meza. The secretary shall act as chief justice of the student court.

The chief justice shall preside over meetings of the student court and shall make sure the student court complies with the procedural guidelines as set forth in the bylaws and in the ASI Policy Manual. The vice-chief justice shall be responsible for the duties of the chief justice in the absence of the chief justice.

The associate justices shall be responsible for attending meetings of the student court, and the vice-justice and all four justices shall have voting privileges in the decisions of the student court, unless one is an interested party and needs to rescue himself or herself from voting, according to the bylaws.

Last week, a dispute was filed shortly after Ruby V. Muñiz was announced as the next president on Thursday, March 26, alleging she was holding giveaways to earn students’ votes.

According to several sources, Muñiz was messaging students and providing incentives to support her, including giveaways for a $25 and $100 Amazon gift card.

The other two presidential candidates, Naila Estrada and Elizabeth Rocha Zuñiga, said they were unaware of what was taking place as they had been blocked by Muñiz on Instagram. Estrada said she was blocked once the campaign started, and Zuniga said her friends and family members were blocked from Muñiz’s account as well.

Story will be updated.

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