[YOUR]Side ban leads to formation of three parties

Vincent Ta/HIGHLANDER
Vincent Ta/HIGHLANDER

[YOUR]Side, a political party that dominated ASUCR elections last year, was banned after a recent judicial decision ruled that the party carried out discriminatory practices. The case, which extended the application deadline for candidates, led to the formation of three new ASUCR political parties, including the re-emergence of [YOU]CR.

The case was brought forward by a student, according to ASUCR Chief Justice Melina Reyes. “During the formation of the party, there was concern that a member was removed from the docket unfairly,” Reyes elaborated, citing the instance as discriminatory. Due to the nature of the case, the student could not be identified by the judicial branch.

Along with the ban, all members previously running for executive cabinet (ECAB) positions with [YOUR]Side received a strike from the judicial branch. Under the three strikes law in the ASUCR bylaws, candidates will be removed if they receive a total of three violations given by the judicial branch or Elections Director Stephanie Rose. In addition, Rose has granted the judicial branch additional powers during elections, giving them the authority to ban or allow parties to return, according to Reyes.

ECAB candidates who previously ran with [YOUR]Side have joined or formed the current three parties. Other candidates, most notably Vice President of Internal Affairs Fernando Echeverria — who ran unopposed for president before the deadline extension — have dropped out of the campaign completely.

[YOU]CR, a party whose name was previously banned last year due to its phonetic similarity with the campus, was allowed to return as party bans are lifted after a year. While the name appears identical in print, its current name must be pronounced as y-o-u-c-r during campaigning to disassociate itself from the name of the campus. Any violation of this rule will result in a candidate receiving a strike, according to Rose.

Prior to spring 2014, [YOU]CR had dominated elections from 2011-2013. Reyes asserted that the decision to allow the party to run again was made entirely by Rose. [OUR]Voice and PAC: Pride, Action, Change, will join [YOU]CR in the upcoming election.

Senator Summer Shafer, who is running for the position of vice president of external affairs with [YOU]CR, spoke on the decision to use the name once again. “We are using the name [YOU]CR, so that we emphasize the importance that you, the student body, are to us and our positions. We are representatives of our constituents and should be acting as such.”

President Pro-Tempore Devin Plazo, who is running as the presidential candidate for PAC, stated that while the name is similar, it is unlikely to affect voting. “Most of the students that would remember this party are at least third-years by now so I don’t think this will really appeal to very many voters. Though the platform is the same, their marketing/social media templates are different so for those who may have voted in previous years there isn’t much to associate the two,” Plazo stated.

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