On May 21, the ASPSU elections board moved to dismiss Diamond Zerework from the 2012 Associated Students of Portland State University elections on the basis that she committed four campaigning infractions. In a statement released by ASPSU and authored by Anthony Stine, current ASPSU communications director and senatorial candidate running under the “Tiffany Dollar and Marlon Holmes, Just Like You” slate, the four minor infractions include “claiming the endorsement of members of the faculty and resource centers at the presidential debate on 10 May… campaigning in the library within 25 feet of a computer lab…repeated submissions of baseless infraction petitions, and a member of her campaign being within zero feet of an official polling station.”
“The E-board did not let me know about any infractions hearing, or that I had any further infractions against me for that matter that had been wrongly filed,” Zerework said in an email. “This strategy to not inform me of the hearing and to let me know six hours before voting ends that they came to this ridiculous conclusion was a petty tactic to derail me from campaigning during voting season, which they and other members in ASPSU have been trying to do for the past two weeks.”
Presidential candidate Ethan Allen Smith said that he was not surprised that Zerework was removed from the ballot: “Zerework was relentlessly attacked by her fellow ASPSU officers… During the presidential debate, the unethical and repulsive behavior of our ASPSU officers was on full display, as they mocked, booed, yelled at and interrupted Sen. Zerework.”
Smith noted that “Sen. Bearnard Kenyon spent hours and hours submitting multiple minor complaints to the elections board. On one occasion, he publicly complained about the ‘cowardice’ of the elections board, saying that they weren’t ‘doing their goddamned job.’”
According to the ASPSU press release, the reasoning behind dismissing Zerework was that her campaigning in the library “rigged the election in her favor” and that Zerework, as the head of her slate, should be held responsible for the actions of her campaign staff.
Though Smith expressed disapproval of current ASPSU officer’s “unethical behavior” toward Zerework, he did commend the elections board decision for taking action when infractions were reported: “I am grateful that the elections board ruled appropriately on Zerework’s infractions. Both her violations and the obvious contention among our ASPSU representatives are emblematic of the problems with Portland State’s student government and are exactly why I chose to run for president.”
God the “Vanguard Staff” write terrible stories (Aka Josh Hunt). I wouldn’t put my name on this story either.
Hey Vanguard — I thought that you covered ASPSU like flies on poop. Why no reports on the election results? Where the hell are you? Do I really have to read Rearguard instead?
Contrary to belief, the elections board does not make their decisions lightly. They agonize over it. When the only two options are to do nothing or to remove a candidate, it is problematic. The suggestion that the board disenfranchises voters when they remove a candidate is false. The candidate disenfranchises voters when she chooses to break the rules.
The ASPSU Elections Board is holding a second hearing into the matter outlined above due to the result of Zerework’s appeal to the Judicial Board on May 22nd. The hearing will be at 1pm in SMSU 47A. The hearing is open to the public, though attendees are advised that general rules of decorum will be observed; audience members must remain respectful of the candidate and the members of the Elections Board, and respect the process.
Hmm….. How about I go find out myself and then I tell YOU about it, Vanguard?
It sounds to me that the board had it out for Sen. Zerework from the beginning. Should a candidate be subject to the unprofessional conduct of an election board that insists on disrespecting, booing, interrupting and insulting during an official meeting? That puts me in the mind of the State of the Union Address in which President Obama was interrupted by a disgruntled congressman. What message are we sending to the people? Is this sort of behavior and conduct acceptable for those who are to be our leaders? Are these the people we want choosing our leaders? Students PSU what are YOU going to do about this? And Ms. Hoffman, removing a candidate definitely does “disenfranchise” voters. There would obviously be a direct correlation with the outcome of the votes. That statement was not well thought out. That is the problem we have on the Elections Board right now, they make statements without fully thinking them out first. Also, they believe they can say and do whatever they want without consequence. They NEED a wakeup call. I understand you are trying to get ahead as junior politicians but you DO NOT treat people that way.