ASUU Supreme Court denies Beech appeal

The ASUU Supreme Court denied Activate Party presidential candidate Cameron Beech’s appeal this weekend after ruling that he violated campaign rules.

“We thought the elections committee ruling was correct,” said Nicola Saliendra, a justice of the court, although “it wasn’t an easy decision by any means.”

Beech’s appeal was in response to a grievance hearing last Tuesday at which the Associated Students of the University of Utah Elections Committee found him guilty of violating campaign rules that prohibit candidates from approaching “unknown or unaffiliated students” before Dialogue Week.

The elections committee said that because Beech violated this rule, he and his running mate, Ryan Carrier, couldn’t actively campaign on the first day of Dialogue Week.

Beech said that although he does not think the punishment he received is too harsh, he is “convinced the Election Committee was incorrect in their ruling.”

The Supreme Court ruling was five to one, and Justice Jaime Longoria dissented.

Chief Justice Richard Green said the Court gave all points in the case thorough deliberation, but in the end the Court did not hear the appeal because Beech clearly violated campaign rules.

Beech said he was going to argue that Rochelle McConkie, the Chronicle reporter whom Beech contacted through a memo, is an affiliated student because she is part of The Daily Utah Chronicle and that he knew her prior to this contact with her.

Under this rule, he said, candidates shouldn’t be allowed to approach anyone-even the elections registrar, because she is not an “affiliated” student.

Beech also said Lorraine Evans, elections registrar for ASUU, issued a rule that allows candidates to do “anything but what I did.”

Evans initially addressed this rule in an elections blog and said candidates are prohibited from seeking the media for story ideas until Posting Day. She later repealed the decision, allowing candidates to seek out the media, but still prohibited them from releasing press releases or campaign materials.

Beech also said the fact that Evans recently changed the rule is “indicative of this situation” and has made rules more confusing.

Beech said he is fine with the ruling, even though it didn’t turn out how he’d hoped it would. “I used the process?and now we can move on,” he said.

Evans said, “I trust that the Supreme Court and the elections committee are working in a manner that upholds Redbook (the student constitution) and my only reaction is to do my job to uphold their rulings.”

“We will definitely cooperate,” Beech said. “I hope we can avoid this type of confusion in the future.”