ASUC Senator-Elect Granted Exception in Order to Run

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Independent candidate Jonathan Gaurano went through more than most to run for the ASUC Senate.

"I've worked so hard for this, you have no idea," shouted the senator-elect, upon hearing his name announced at last Friday's tabulation.

Gaurano, who is not a registered student for the spring semester, was deemed ineligible to run by the Judicial Council in a February advisory opinion. The council concluded that senatorial candidates must be students during the semester they run for office, as stated in the

elections by-laws.

Despite the opinion, Gaurano decided to study the ASUC Constitution and seek special status with the ASUC Elections Council.

"I spent sleepless nights, saying what can I find-because I'm a rhetoric major-what can I find that says that I can run, if I could just emphasize this or emphasize this statement," Gaurano said.

After the opinion was issued, ASUC Auxiliary Director Nadesan Permaul helped Gaurano draft a letter requesting special status, which he sent to Elections Council Chair Emily Liedblad.

Liedblad said she collaborated with ASUC Attorney General Michael Sinanian to decide to grant Gaurano special status, although neither could recall the exact grounds Gaurano had for requesting an exception.

"He communicated to Nad in more detail than he did to me and the J-Council what his extenuating circumstances were," Sinanian said.

But Permaul also said he did not remember the circumstances.

"I don't recall," Permaul said. "I just remember thinking they were reasonable grounds to make that request."

Liedblad declined to comment on her reasoning and did not provide a copy of the letter.

As a finance co-director in the office of Executive Vice President Krystle Pasco, Gaurano said he was introduced to the ASUC when he served as an intern for former CalSERVE Senator Daniel Galeon

in 2007.

"Through that I fell in love with the ASUC," he said.

Gaurano, a junior, said he took this semester off for personal and financial reasons, and has been involved in independent research and working at Peet's Coffee.

Although there has not yet been an attempt to prevent Gaurano from taking office, a charge sheet could still be filed. The good faith filing deadline for elections violations has passed, but that deadline is non-restrictive, said Judicial Council Chair Kiira Johal.

"If the council felt a case was compelling enough, it could decide to hear it," Johal said.

If Gaurano were removed from the ASUC Senate-assuming elections results are retabulated after Student Action dropped a candidate Tuesday-Viola Tang of the CalSERVE party would take his senate seat. If no retabulation occurs, he would be replaced by Student Action candidate Matt Samuels.

But Gaurano said losing his senate seat is not his main concern.

"I'm worried about losing respect in the senate," he said. "I did sacrifice a lot to campaign, and I don't want to lose that."

Clarification:Liedblad provided the letter on Thursday after the print deadline.


Rachel Gross is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected]

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