The Associated Students of UC San Diego (ASUCSD) Elections Committee ruled on April 1 that the Tritons United (TU) slate violated campaign finance rules by not reporting donations and expenses. As a result, the elections ballot will have a formal disclaimer about the violation listed next to each TU candidate.
TU hosted a private slate event on March 15 at RIMAC field. According to the Facebook event, the gathering was meant to film “future UCSD admissions clips,” despite the event being called, “TU campaign video filming.”
The event also said that free food would be present for participants and the King Triton mascot would be in attendance. The Facebook event was later deleted after The Triton’s Editor-in-Chief Mohamed Al Elew commented on the event, asking if it was sanctioned by the university.
A slate running for campus wide elections hosted a private campaign event today at 3pm. Tritons United claimed it was a professional video shoot for future UCSD admissions clips. pic.twitter.com/MZKKUmvSpp
— m̾o (محمد) (@SoloMune) March 15, 2019
AS presidential candidate Eleanor Grudin, leader of the FRESH START (FS) slate, filed three grievances on March 22, alleging campaign finance violations and an attempt to conceal the event. Grudin claimed that TU did not disclose purchases such as pizza on the budget.
“Deleting the event indicates the intention to conceal this use of campaign funds from the public and the election manager which is a violation of the code,” Grudin said in the grievance.
TU slate leader and AS presidential candidate Joseph Giltner told The Triton that the event was not a part of the TU election campaign and believed it was unnecessary to include it on its finance reports. When asked about the food at the event, Giltner said, “To fight food insecurity, members of Tritons United gave food to students.”
This is not the first violation for TU. The elections committee previously warned and sanctioned TU for violating the University Centers Posting Policy and for a previous campaign finance violation in which TU failed to disclose donated supplies on their budget.
According to Elections Manager Kyler Vaughn, the elections committee has placed the following statement next to each TU candidate on the candidates list and the ballot as a sanction for the most recent violation:
“Tritons United was found to be in violation of campaign finance rules as they took steps to conceal campaign expenditures/donations.”
Vaughn explained that if violations continue, sanctions will escalate accordingly, with total disqualification as a last resort.
Voting for ASUCSD Elections begins next Monday, April 8.
Samir Nomani is a Staff Writer for The Triton