ASUS elections team investigating several complaints

Executive team candidates allege threats by supporter of opposing team

Candidates Chaudhry and Maida at the ASUS debates.
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After a turbulent few days for the three ASUS executive team candidates, two teams took to Facebook to endorse another team as second choice on the winter elections ballot.

One endorsement, which was removed several hours after being posted, alleged threats by a member of the opposing team’s campaign.

In a Jan. 29 post that was later deleted from the team’s Facebook page, Team Sam and Emma reciprocated Team Abby and Nick’s endorsement of them that had been posted a day earlier. Each team urged voters to rank one another as their second choice on the ballot.

Using a ranking ballot system means that each voter provides their preference for their first, second, and third choice candidates. However, no voter is required to rank all three teams, and a “none of the above” option is also provided.

“In light of threats and attempts to extort our fellow candidates Abby and Nick by a member of opposing campaign staff, we can no longer pretend we are ambivalent about which team would win if we do not prevail,” Team Sam and Emma wrote in the now-removed post.

“We personally do not believe that anyone who would allow their campaign staff to extort an opponent has the integrity to serve you as executive.”

In a statement sent to The Journal, presidential candidate Sam Roe, ArtSci ’19, provided more details.

“Early Sunday Abby contacted me. He sent me a screenshot of a conversation in which an ex-ASUS president Brandon Jamieson, who is one of the people running Jasmine and Stefan’s campaign, sent Abby a message in response to his endorsement of us as second choice on the ranked ballot to all his supporters,” Roe wrote.

According to Roe, the message warned Chaudhry that Jamieson would withdraw support for their team’s “protection” and specifically mentioned Chaudhry’s running mate, Nick Maida.

Chaudhry reported the incident to the elections team on Sunday, but they haven’t yet got back to him about the outcome of their deliberations, Roe said. Chaudhry, ArtSci ’17, declined to comment about the allegations, but did share with The Journal that he’s “fed up” with the election process as a whole.

When contacted regarding his communication with Chaudhry, Jamieson, ArtSci ’17, told The Journal via email that he has “the highest respect for Abby and Nick as individuals” but has “differences with them on the campaign tactics that they have used in this election.”

“As co-campaign manager for one of the teams running, I have frequent contact with the other campaign teams on issues of logistics or other issues that may arise throughout the campaign,” Jamieson wrote.

“I believe that we have enjoyed a close working relationship with Team Abby and Nick. However, I understand that we may have differing viewpoints about events that have occurred this election.”

When asked about the allegations put forth in Team Sam and Emma’s post, ASUS Chief Elections Officer Jacob Berg told The Journal that, “there are a number of complaints being looked into at the moment.”

“In order to maintain confidentiality for all parties we do not comment publicly on complaints that we receive,” Berg wrote.

In an email to The Journal on Sunday, ASUS Chief Returning Officer Stewart Langley noted that Berg had ruled that candidates are “within their abilities as outlined in our policy manual” to publicly endorse another team for second choice.

On Friday, a day before posting their endorsement, Team Abby and Nick had received pushback from several students during a classroom visit, in which the professor, Erin Weinberg, gave her students the opportunity to ask the team questions.

One student identified an offensive sticker on Maida’s laptop, and asked how he could “reconcile his care for the student body” while displaying the sticker, Weinberg told The Journal.

Chaudhry declined to comment on the class talk and Maida didn’t return a request for comment.

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