The Arizona Desert Lamp

President: “Don’t you mean BIZARRO elections process?”

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 12 March 2009

BizzaroA full Senate report will be coming soon; for now, though, it’s worth going through the growing ASUA-Wildcat feud, in light of President Bruce’s comments at yesterday’s meeting:

“Absolutely no disrespect when I say, do not believe everything that you read,” Bruce said, referencing an editorial that appeared in Wednesday’s issue of the Daily Wildcat. “At no point whatsoever in this elections process has there ever been any intentional malcontent or bias against any candidate in this campaign.”

The worst part of all of this is that there is no malevolence – just incompetence and a failure to understand the basic underpinnings of free elections. The intentionality doesn’t really matter, though – if you’ve messed up a ballot, you’ve messed up a ballot. If you’ve banned the formation of political parties, you’ve done a hell of a number on freedom of association, regardless of how many exclamation points you tack on at the end.

One thing that particularly bothered the student body president was that he was not sought out or consulted before the running of the editorial, Bruce said.

“I do my best to try to return phone calls immediately. I always try to answer every question I legally can answer and try to provide all the information that is available,” he said. “And yet when – you know – when things like an editorial come out that have essentially disgraced and defamed everything that we do and then I’m not contacted, that’s frustrating for me.”

To paraphrase a good friend, campus media does not start and stop at your command, Mr. President. It is not our job to make ASUA look good. If something is printed in error – and, I should point out, genuine error, and not simply slanted in a way that does not please you – then it is your responsibility to point it out. During his mini-rant, President Bruce did not respond to any allegation from the editorial (or this site) – not one! Instead, he chose to insinuate and allude to ‘errors’. If a President can’t answer concerns like these at a public forum, then there are some very serious transparency issues within ASUA.

PIRG, in fact, went through the proper channels on its way to the ballot, since it received nominating petition signatures from 5 percent of the student body, Bruce said.

Also in reference to the editorial, Bruce said that the Elections Commission is held to protocol by the president’s office and the Senate.

Well, let’s see if President Bruce’s pledge to answer questions is genuine. How does changing the rules in the middle of the game constitute “proper channels”? If the President and the Senate are responsible for the Elections Commission, is it fair to blame them – and you – for the outrageously slanted PIRG question and the printing of a write-in candidate’s name? Can you point to any precedent where a write-in candidate’s name was printed on the ballot? When will ASUA elections meet the minimum standards set by the OSCE for free elections? Can you point to any other moment in ASUA history when ballots were changed during an election? For all your paeans to openness, do you plan on doing anything about the fact that your organization is the least transparent and least representative student government in the Pac-10?

Inquiring minds want to know. It’d be nice to get an answer to these questions, but I’m not exactly holding my breath.


8 Responses

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  1. Jimi Alexander said, on 12 March 2009 at 10:11 am

    Bizarro! Bizarro! I love you! Bizarro!

  2. A. Hill said, on 12 March 2009 at 10:43 am

    don’t believe everything you read — just believe everything your ASUA overlords tell you.

    unrelatedly, when you have a second, could you update my link in the blogroll? i’ve deleted the new century and moved everything over to arfing round the bend. it’s, er, arfing along nicely so far. thanks.

  3. […] President Bruce said something. Tagged with: ASUA Senate, Collegiate Readership Program, Eduardo Atjian II, Elections Code, […]

  4. Stephen Bieda III said, on 12 March 2009 at 11:53 am

    It is the responsibility of the media to report everything as accurately as possible. In this case, I believe that the Arizona Wildcat did research the election code of ASUA as thoroughly as possible to determine the practices that were exercised in this most recent election. I applaud the Arizona Wildcat for their efforts, as it was quite educational and telling.

    Indeed in this situation, the media should not serve at the beck and call of any Student Body President, graduate or undergraduate. If there is something that is reported incorrectly, then the ASUA President should clarify these points or ask for a correction. If there are none, then these comments are unfortunate and telling.

  5. Connor Mendenhall said, on 12 March 2009 at 2:00 pm

    In other news, am I the only one who didn’t know “prexy” was a word? GRE vocab, here I come!

  6. Ben Kalafut said, on 12 March 2009 at 2:24 pm

    If he can be “Tommy” then he can be the “Prexy.”

    Still waiting on the Wildcat to say something about Wisc. Regents v Southworth or Amidon v Student Association of SUNY. Not holding my breath. “Tommy”‘s upset that the Wildcat called a spade a spade already, just imagine what he has to say when they say the ASUA did something unlawful.

  7. A. Hill said, on 12 March 2009 at 6:53 pm

    yeah, i’m no headline artiste, but “prexy” was cringeworthy.

  8. […] soon as they find our “use of electronic means” to support “severe, repeated, and hostile behavior” towards various administrative and governmental forces – never mind the […]

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