Snow Party Wins ASUU Election

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(Photo Courtesy of Snow Party)
Rory Penman
(Photo Courtesy of Snow Party)
(Photo Courtesy of Snow Party)

ASUU election results came with one final grievance Saturday afternoon.

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Ambra Jackson and Anthony Fratto of the Snow Party won the presidential and vice presidential race, receiving almost two thirds of the votes. The party also won the majority of Senate and Assembly positions. The only candidate for senior class president, Devin Price, a member of Snow Party, won by default.

Satin Tashnizi, Empower Party’s presidential candidate, was surprised by the numbers, but understood the circumstances of the results.

“That’s what happens when 35 percent of your campaigning time is taken away [by grievance hearings] and you can’t put up posters,” Tashnizi said. “We lost our senior class president … Camille [Conerly] and I are also both female … and that alienated a lot of people.”

The announcement was delayed by ASUU’s Elections Committee to settle a grievance filed by the Empower Party on March 5. The party claimed ASUU Attorney General Zack Strong did not remain impartial during the race. Strong’s Facebook profile picture since December was of Snow VP Anthony Fratto and him, and the picture was next to a “VOTE ASUU” banner on the page, implying a vote for Fratto. In addition, Empower cited an anonymous witness to an alleged conversation with Strong telling the witness to “vote for his party … the Snow Party.”

Camille Conerly, Empower’s vice president candidate, said “our grievance wasn’t filed to sway potential results.” Rather, they hoped bringing the issue to air would reassure candidates who felt the election was unfair.

Snow appealed the decision to ASUU’s supreme court. According to Elections Registrar Ali Sadler — the decision was reversed. The Elections Committee gave no punishment — but released a statement, calling it a “strong, formal rebuke.”

“Although there was wrongdoing on behalf of the Attorney General, Zack Strong, a lack of policing by the ASUU administration led to the issue at hand,” the statement said. “The Attorney General should know and respect the rules of the elections … which claims, ‘No paid member of the ASUU can be affiliated with any party or candidate in any way whatsoever.’”

Strong claimed he did “absolutely nothing” to look like he was campaigning for the Snow Party. He also maintains he did not break any ASUU policies and felt personally attacked because of his friendship with the Snow Party candidates.

“This was made a bigger deal than the financial policies that the Empower Party didn’t sign … they halted elections because of a Facebook profile picture,” Strong said. “If they had turned in their financial disclosures on time, none of this would have happened.”

The Empower party submitted their marketing material and campaign finance disclosure forms late because their vice presidential candidate suffered a series of hospitalizations. Strong said he sympathizes but felt they “weren’t proactive” about communicating their issue.

After the grievance hearing, Tashnizi and Conerly both said they left the election “with a clear conscience.”

Full election results can be found on ASUU’s website.

t.almond@chronicle.utah.edu

@SeymourSkimmer

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