Students First Party files first elections grievances

The Students First Party filed a grievance against the People Incorporated Party Tuesday for distributing fliers believed to be used to recruit candidates for the People’s Incorporated Party.

If true, this would be in violation of Redbook which states, “No campaign materials…may be posted on or off campus until 3 p.m. on the Friday two weeks prior to the first scheduled day of voting.”

Ali Hasnain, presidential candidate for Students First, said that though the two parties have open communication, he felt filing the grievance was necessary.

“If something happens that could potentially sway voters or students one way or another, you just want to make sure you’re able to set a precedent through a grievance. It’s to make sure that it’s something that doesn’t happen again,” said Ali Hasnain presidential candidate for Students First.

TaNisha Walker, a student in the LEAP program, is also a mid-level member of the People Incorporated Party. Walker printed about 50 fliers that said, “Want to learn more about your student government? Want to get Involved? U Can Make a Difference. Run for Student Assembly.” The words were printed above a picture of Napoleon Dynamite. Walker’s contact information was also included at the bottom of the flier.

The fliers were then given to her LEAP Peer Adviser, Christina Caputo. The fliers would be posted or distributed in the peer adviser’s LEAP classes, effectively reaching 500 to 600 students.

Caputo was given the fliers under the impression that Walker was advertising for general Associated Student of the University of Utah involvement as a member of Freshman Council and that the fliers were not advertising for general non-partisan information.

The fliers were not advertising for general, non-partisan involvement and were not sponsored by ASUU or Freshman Council. Their intent was clearly to recruit candidates for TaNisha’s Party, according to Zan Larsen, Students First campaign manager.

The phone number and e-mail address listed are Walker’s personal contact information.

Walker said the fliers were never distributed to any of the classrooms and no one ever called the number that was provided on the flier.

“It had nothing to do with the campaign and it was just to inform people about running for Senate and Assembly,” Walker said

“She had the best intentions to recruit freshmen to run for student assembly,” said Taylor Morgan presidential candidate for People Incorporated.

According to Morgan, it was just a misunderstanding that Walker needed contact information from the other parties on the flier.

“We stopped the fliers from being handed out because they didn’t have adequate information for both parties,” Morgan said. “There hasn’t been any impact.”

The grievance hearing will take place tonight at 8 p.m. in Room 324 in the Union.

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