Team Unite, Vision Party win big in primaries

Madison+Black+and+Justin+Spangler+of+the%0AVision+Party+speak+at+the+ASUU+debate+last%0AWednesday.+Photo+by+Brent+Uberty.

Brent Uberty

Madison Black and Justin Spangler of the Vision Party speak at the ASUU debate last Wednesday. Photo by Brent Uberty.

Madison Black and Justin Spangler of the Vision Party speak at the ASUU debate last Wednesday. Photo by Brent Uberty.
Madison Black and Justin Spangler of the
Vision Party speak at the ASUU debate last
Wednesday. Photo by Brent Uberty.
Primaries are over, and the results are in. Team Unite’s Mike Bird and Ashley Newhall, and Justin Spangler and Madison Black from the Vision Party will move on to the general elections for the President and Vice President positions.
Tanner Olson of Team Unite and Florence Fernandez of the Grow Party will move on to the generals for the senior class president position.
The results were announced Friday, Feb. 14 around 11 a.m. Bird, Newhall and Olson were temporarily disqualified last week, but the elections committee’s decision to disqualify the team was overturned by ASUU’s Supreme Court late Thursday, Feb. 13, the night before election results were announced.
Sam Ortiz, the current ASUU president, said he respects the Supreme Court’s decision “as a neutral and unbiased individual in this,” and that he looks forward to the general elections.
“The Supreme Court was called upon to make a ruling on a very difficult issue,” Ortiz said. “I respect the hard work they do.”
The ASUU Supreme Court unanimously voted 6-0 to reverse the ruling by the Elections Committee to disqualify Team Unite. The decision came an hour after the Supreme Court’s hearing on the matter.
Team Unite’s presidential candidate, Mike Bird, defended his party against allegations of early candidate recruitment, not reporting core committee members and abuse of directorship.
“We are not prevented from someone approaching us,” Bird said at the hearing in regards to early recruitment. “For them to approach me is out of my control.”
Bird called multiple witnesses from Team Unite that had been accused by the other two parties of being recruited by Bird and others to join Team Unite before the recruiting process.
“I approached Mike Bird after he resigned from Government Relations,” said Christina Ripley, a member of Team Unite at the hearing.
Bird also asked why it had taken Taylor Thompson, ASUU’s elections registrar, and the elections committee an additional week to file the grievance. Bird said Ali Sadler, the presidential candidate from the Grow Party, had approached Thompson as early as Jan. 20. The grievance was not filed until Feb. 10.
“This, to me, is collusion,” Bird said.
Thompson defended herself at the hearing by saying she had received grievances from both the Vision Party and the Grow Party about Team Unite and had to make sure they were separate grievances.
Thompson said she had received the final information late Feb. 2, and she did not have time to file the grievances against Team Unite before the Election Committee met on Feb. 3.
“We decided to file later because we didn’t have time,” Thompson said.
Primary voting closed 10 p.m., Feb. 13. Results were announced at 10 a.m. the following day. Because of a technical error on CIS, Team Unite was never removed from the online ballot, allowing students to continue to vote for them.
[email protected]