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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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ASUU Elections Committee Hears More Party Grievances

Chris Ayers
(Photo by Chris Ayers)


(Photo by Chris Ayers)
(Photo by Chris Ayers)

Two complaints were filed against the Empower Party regarding finances and campaigning. The ASUU Elections Committee ruled on the grievances on Monday.


Finance Grievance

As of March 2, the Empower Party failed to provide “complete, accurate and current credit and debt listing of all campaign-related expenditures.” These were due by Jan. 26. ASUU Special Prosecutor Tanner Olson filed the grievance and recommended suspending the Empower Party’s marketing and campaigning privileges until the financial report is submitted. He said if something “discredits” their spending after the election, any Empower candidates who win may be subject to an investigation.

Satin Tashnizi, the presidential candidate for the Empower Party, said their financial report was late because their marketing materials were submitted four days after the Jan. 26 deadline. She said the vice presidential candidate, Camille Conerly, also suffered from a series of “serious medical emergencies” at the same time, so they decided to focus on her health instead.

This led to a $300 freeze on their $4,500 budget. As of March 1, the Empower Party was still appealing this ruling and were waiting on the decision before submitting their financial disclosure.

“Any more punishments to the Empower campaign would eliminate the competition,” Tashnizi said. “From a legal perspective, you can punish us to the full extent of the law, but from a human perspective, [you can’t].”

Olson, along with multiple members of the Elections Committee, said the two issues were separate and shouldn’t affect their decision. They said the party failed to communicate the medical issues — which Tashnizi denied — and didn’t inform the committee about when they would submit their financial report.

ASUU Financial Auditor Soo Bin Oh sent multiple emails to Empower asking for updates. Most went unanswered, but she received one email from Tashnizi on Feb. 20 wherein she said the materials would be submitted on Feb. 21 — which didn’t happen.

The Committee ordered the Empower Party to “immediately provide a reconciliation of the entire accounting, expenses and financial records to the Financial Auditor.” Until that condition is met, they are “prohibited from any and all campaign activity.”


Campaigning Grievance

Ambra Jackson, the presidential candidate for the Snow Party, said the Empower Party campaigned inside the Union and the Marriott Library and outside of the ASUU Office — all places which candidates are prohibited from campaigning. Jackson cited four separate instances, listed below:

-Citation 1

Cynthia Chen, Snow Party senate candidate for the College of Fine Arts, saw Tashnizi handing out Empower promotional gear in the Marriott Library in an Empower T-shirt.

Tashnizi said she was in the library and passed out one T-shirt to their former senior class president candidate. They were also using the library as a campaign headquarters. Regardless of their presence, she said they were not passing out materials “in a manner we would consider campaigning.”

-Citation 2

On Feb. 25, the Empower Party passed out campaign materials near the Union front desk for a few hours. They were told by Ali Sadler, ASUU elections registrar, to leave multiple times.

Camille Conerly, Empower’s vice presidential candidate, said her party was packing, unpacking and distributing marketing materials they had just received from ASUU to members of their own party, not campaigning. She said Empower could not move the materials out of the Union because they did not have access to a car that could fit all of it in one trip. Sadler confirmed they were there for a few hours and that she told them to distribute the materials quickly.

-Citation 3

The Empower Party left campaign handouts at the Union front desk from Feb. 26 to 27.

Zain Rehman, an Empower Party assembly candidate for the College of Engineering, works at the front desk and asked Sadler if he could place the materials there. Sadler confirmed that he asked but did not recall him mentioning that he worked at the front desk.

-Citation 4

The Empower Party gave out sunglasses with their logo to Chartwells employees in the Union Cafeteria.

Tashnizi said three employees asked for glasses. They obliged, and the employees were told to remove them by Chartwells managers. Both Tashnizi and Conerly said they were unaware this was considered campaigning.


After hearing arguments for both grievances, the Elections Committee said they found insufficient “evidence that a violation of the elections rules occurred that would warrant disciplinary action.”

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