The Million-Vorhoff and Rachel-Rebecca Undergraduate Student Government campaigns are working jointly to file a complaint against the Austin-Morgan campaign with Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards, according to Hashim Osman, the campaign manager for the Million-Vorhoff ticket.
The move follows the results of an appeals hearing with the USG Judicial Council, which issued extra sanctions to the Austin-Morgan campaign after the other two tickets accused them of breaking election rules by starting their campaign early.
The tickets alleged that USG presidential and vice presidential candidates Austin Dunn and Morgan Monahan created a secret Facebook group roughly 32 hours before the official campaign period began. The ticket received two strikes from the Elections Commission, after which the Million-Vorhoff and Rachel-Rebecca campaigns filed appeals with the USG Judicial Council.
“This entire debacle has made us mistrust the entire organization,” Osman said.
The Judicial Council unanimously decided to issue two additional strikes and sanctions against the Austin – Morgan campaign, fining them for two-thirds of their election funds, which is roughly $1,000 out of the $1,500 allotted to their ticket. The Rachel-Rebecca campaign also received one strike in a separate case.
Osman, however, advocated for complete disqualification of the Austin-Morgan campaign.
“All the evidence is there. It’s in the audio, it’s in the transcripts,” Osman said. “They [had] so many violations, they had a Facebook group, they had instances where USG directors were involved, but we’re not even pondering that now. We just want to see change.”
Dunn said that they have focused their efforts on voter turnout and student advocacy in light of the recent accusations.
“It was extremely disheartening to receive these personal attacks,” Dunn said. “We made a mistake at the beginning of the campaign and have run a perfectly clean campaign since.”
Sen. Tiffany Lian, who supports the Austin-Morgan campaign, said that the accusations placed are not warranted.
“It’s really disturbing to me [what Osman] writes about this incident,” Lian said in an email to the Daily Trojan. “He states that certain current USG figures participated in helping them cheat when it was very clearly stated in the judicial proceedings that this was not the case.”
According to Lian, additional allegations Osman made in a Facebook post on Monday were incorrect. Lian said Sen. Paul Samaha and President Edwin Saucedo did not participate in the selection of the Judicial Council. Additionally, in response to another allegation by Osman, Dunn and Monahan do not have access to the USG website.
“I think it’s funny that their campaign manager talks about how egregious it is that Austin-Morgan are breaking the rules. He says that since they’re breaking the rules, he will too now,” Lian said. “It’s also interesting to me how their campaign manager is bending facts for shock factor, which has happened as well by the presidential candidate that he represents.”
Ultimately, Osman said he wanted to see a revised elections system.
“This is a real issue, and we just want the changes so that all students can have fair representation,” Osman said. “Now that everything is out there, we can see some real changes for the future.”