The Arizona Desert Lamp

The Loopholes Win Again

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 23 February 2009

Donut RegulationsWhere there’s a regulation there’s a loophole. A few days ago, I posted on a picture of candidates Emily Fritze, Gabriella Ziccarelli, and Chris Nagata, citing the ban on political party formation.

Yet the clause in the Code reads as follows:

Only one candidate’s name may appear on any piece of campaign material as defined by this Code.

The candidates, coyly, did not tag the pictures; hence, there are technically no ‘names’ associated with the image other than Sen. Fritze’s. The image — while clearly drawing party lines — is perfectly legitimate.

Yet this is not the first party to be formed on campus; already, in addition to what might be called the ‘Establishment Party,’ we have an upstart group in ‘Rock Ur Vote‘ (spelling, woefully, in context), consisting of Senate candidates Jasimine Evans, Ryan Klenke, and Leo Yamaguchi. Former President Erin Hertzog came to power as the head of the ‘Team Yellow‘, and only two years ago the school witnessed the rise of Team Red.

Freedom of association also takes a step forward with the formation what can only be described as the first political action committee within the UA, the Campus Coalition for Change:

The Campus Coalition for Change is a newly formed grassroots mobilization of students from across campus. We are not a club, we are not a corporation, we are not affiliated with ASUA or any other campus organization.

Simply put, we are students who share the same vision for our school and a desire for a student government that represents our values. For too long, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona has been an exclusive club for a narrow portion of the student population; that ends today. For too long, ASUA has had the reputation of favoring the benefit of the few over the many; that ends today. For too long, ASUA elected officials have not been accountable to or representative of their electorate; that ends today.

We, the students, have the power to change the face of ASUA. That effort begins today.

We are bringing together students from all over campus who are willing to dedicate their collective time and votes to electing ASUA candidates that will truly embody these values:

1. Elected officials who show strong, visible, sustained support of progressive programming, policies, and people on campus
2. Elected officials who are representative of the diversity that exists at The University of Arizona
3. Elected officials who fight for transparency in government and active engagement with the electorate
4. Elected officials who will personally and actively lobby the state legislature to increase funding and support for higher education
5. Elected officials who facilitate fundamental change in the culture of ASUA and on the greater campus towards an inclusive and safe community for all

The insistent progressivism is distasteful (and, with respect to their fourth ‘value’, quite redundant), but that’s far outweighed by the good news that coalitions are actually forming on campus, completely independent of the Elections Commission and subject to none of its regulations. The CCC (coincidence?) is free to put up posters of their own choosing, to allow its Facebook group to continue into perpetuity, to spend as much money on outreach and publicity as it is able, and to create fake pages that resemble the ASUA ballot.

The lesson from this, of course, is that there will be always be loopholes, and no matter how loathsome the democratic process may seem, it can never be quelled except by the most extreme force. Rather than designing a Code reactively, creating new blanket regulations in response to every unhappy circumstance during a given election, a Code should instead be based on abstract principles; namely, those basic values – including freedom of association – upon which free elections are based.

Image courtesy of Flickr user John Salzberg


6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Jimi Alexander said, on 23 February 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Evans, Klenke, and Yamaguchi just lost my vote. If you can’t be bothered to use proper English on your campaign, you probably can’t be bothered with any sort of attention to detail.

  2. "Ur" Stupid said, on 23 February 2009 at 9:10 pm

    I agree with you Jimi. If they can’t even spell (Rock Ur Vote) how I am supposed to be proud of endorsing them. So far Bratt, Evans, Klenke, Yamaguchi and Elyachar are out my vote.

  3. Jon said, on 23 February 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Am I the only freshmen disappointed in his class? So far all the candidates I WOULDN’T vote for are all freshmen. Tomorrow is the Senate Forum and I’d advise you attend and ask them questions. It’s 5-7 in the Kiva room.

  4. Hali said, on 24 February 2009 at 9:58 am

    If anyone is interested in being part of the Campus Coalition for Change please come to our Meet and Greet Thursday at 7:30pm in the MLK building. Feel free to email with any questions

  5. […] Posted in Campus, Politics by Connor Mendenhall on March 12th, 2009 Remember the Campus Coalition for Change? If not, you may know them soon: of 13 candidates supported by the CCC, recently formed to elect […]

  6. […] the Family. Such a reformist movement – ideally, sponsored by a quasi-PAC organization akin to the CCC – would serve as a more moderate distillation of the anarchist fury that arose last year, and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: