Team Unite hits ASUU elections roadblocks

N-ASUU-Grievence-Results Colby Patterson
Presidental Candidates for Team Unite sit and listen at their grievance hearing Tuesday night in the Union. Yesterday it was announced they are being disqualified from the election due to the grievance hearing results.–Brent Uberty

Presidental Candidates for Team Unite sit and listen at their grievance hearing Tuesday night in the Union. Yesterday it was announced they are being disqualified from the election due to the grievance hearing results.–Brent Uberty

Team Unite has been disunited — at least for now.

The party was found guilty of violating both RedBook guidelines and the elections packet by the Elections Committee on Tuesday night. The late night meeting was called to address concerns raised about Team Unite and the Vision Party. Vision Party was found not guilty.

The ruling means that the president, vice president and senior president positions in the party, held by Michael Bird, Ashley Newhall and Tanner Olsen respectively, were disqualified from the 2014 ASUU elections for most of the day Wednesday. However, a temporary stay issued late Wednesday night by the ASUU Supreme Court will allow the party to continue campaigning until 6 p.m. today. The court will reconvene tonight at 6 p.m. to discuss the case further.

The ruling will not affect those running for the Assembly or Senate, although Bird, Newhall and Olsen will not be able to campaign or aid those candidates.

“The Elections Committee’s decision to disqualify Team Unite reinforced my understanding that ASUU needs to improve on transparency and fairness,” Bird said. “We felt that the allegations towards Team Unite were false and held no validity.”

The allegations against Team Unite were raised just hours after Olsen participated in the senior class presidential debate Tuesday afternoon. The Elections Committee found Team Unite guilty by a vote of 4-0 of early candidate recruiting, not reporting core committee members and abuse of directorship.

“The grievance hearing demonstrates the process of ASUU to ensure a fair elections process,” said Ali Sadler, presidential candidate for the Grow Party. “The role of the parties now is to make sure that candidates from all three parties and all of campus are able to come together and have a positive experience.”

Current ASUU president Sam Ortiz urged the Supreme Court to hear the appeal as soon as possible.

“The process is not over. I don’t know what the final outcome will look like,” Ortiz said. “It’s difficult for Team Unite. They have put in a lot of work […] I don’t think anyone wants this.”

Ortiz said that because of his position in ASUU, he does not play any role in the election process or the conflict that has arisen during the primaries. He said a similar instance happened in ASUU a few years ago when the Fresh Party was disqualified by the Supreme Court for pre-campaigning violations.

The Vision Party was also accused of violations; however, the committee did not find sufficient evidence against them and voted 3-0 in their favor.
The Vision Party did not immediately return requests for comment.

n.turner@chronicle.utah.edu