Apr 062010
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Even though they know they can’t win after the Supreme Court’s final decision to excuse them from the race, ousted presidential candidates David Ambrose and April Ragland are asking students to write them on to the 2010 student government elections ballot.

Students, Ambrose said, would not throw away votes, but show their support for the change he and Ragland were trying to prompt. The team was booted from the race Friday for exceeding their $2,000 budget, which is set by the elections code.

The team sent out an automated text message Tuesday night asking for supporters to write their names on the ballot. While it’s not the goal, Ambrose said if they get 50 percent of the votes they plan to appeal the general elections.

“Student voices here at CSU need to start being heard,” he said, adding that he and Ragland stand behind all decisions made during their campaign.

Elections Manager Kevin Robinson did not return a phone call from the Collegian to respond to Ambrose’s claim.

The team filed an appeal to the Associated Students of CSU Supreme Court after the Elections Committee ruled to charge $1,260 –– or 28 cents per handbill –– for postage for literature sent to residence halls because only registered student organizations qualify for free mailing on campus.

The Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Elections Committee’s decision Tuesday.

Paul Wade, who defended the campaign during the hearing, said through Ambrose’s fraternity, which endorsed the ticket, they could have taken advantage of discounted non-profit postage as low as 7 cents, or $315 for 4,500. Wade also cited the possibility of bulk mailing for around 20 cents per postcard.

Emily Malin, committee clerk, and other committee members defended their decision to add the price of postage to Ambrose and Ragland’s donation and expenditure report to the Supreme Court.

Malin, who researched the fair market value for postage, said she looked into both non-profit and bulk pricing and said the campaign would have to apply for a non-profit license or pay a hefty set-up fee to access bulk mailing capabilities because no other ticket had access to those resources.

“We didn’t use USPS, so we do not believe we should be charged for postage,” Ambrose said, explaining that he and other campaigners hand delivered the handbills and were never asked to show a permit.

The duo was fined $50 last week for overstepping residence hall policy by not obtaining a permit for mailing to dorms, which directly violates a section of the elections code binding them to follow university policy.

Regardless of their expulsion from the elections, Ambrose said he and Ragland will continue to push ASCSU to incorporate students’ ideas.

“No matter what, until we leave CSU, we will continue to fight for student voice,” Ambrose said.

Presidential Candidate Jack Becker and his running mate Darrie Burrage said the Elections Committee hearing and Supreme Court appeals process were conducted correctly, but the final decision was “unfortunate” because now students only have two choices.

Becker and Burrage voiced no opposition to students writing Ambrose and Ragland on to the ballot because it will add to the voting numbers, without which, they said, “ASCSU has less legitimacy.”

“I’m glad they were able to voice their opinions, but I’m sad they’re not contributing,” Burrage said.

Burrage and Becker have yet to submit a complaint or have one filed against them.
Cooper Anderson and Jennifer Babos, who are also vying for the top executive seats, denied comment.

The court also overturned a last-minute appeal filed by Ambrose and Ragland regarding libel against Anderson and Babos, refunding the campaign the assessed $25 fee.

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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