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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

WBRS request denied by UJ

Published: April 7, 2006
Section: News

The Union Judiciary (UJ) has denied the WBRS' request to hold election results of the ongoing Student Activities Fee (SAF) constitutional amendment vote, according to Chief Justice Samuel Everett Dewey '06.

WBRS General Manager Julie Craghead 07 filed a Union Judiciary (UJ) petition against the Student Union, citing inappropriate conduct during the Unions campaign for the SAF amendment, and asking that the UJ place a preliminary injunction on the results of the SAF referendum.

If the UJ accepted the request, the results of the election would be held pending an investigation of the election.

The petition included seven claims against the Student Union and its members. Union President Jenny Feinberg 07 was accused of threatening WBRS with increased budget cuts if the SAF referendum were to fail, and of spreading misinformation about the number of students that listen to WBRS. Chief of Elections Darren Gallant 08 was accused of failure to remain neutral during the election period.

Undergraduate Representative to the Board of Trustees Albert Cahn 07 was cited for illegally looking at WBRS private files, and Senator Josh Karpoff 07 was named for sending pro-SAF e-mails to the Union listserv.

The Union as a whole was accused of not having an appropriate quiet period during the voting, and for setting up voting booths at which students were encouraged to approve the amendment. Finally, the Union was cited for hanging posters on campus that listed clubs that would supposedly benefit from SAF reform. However, the petition claims that some of the clubs listed are only recognized or unchartered.

In the petition, Craghead wrote that the conduct of the Student Union during the campaign for the SAF referendumhas been egregious during this entire process and is, in some ways, in violation of the Student Union Constitution. She asked for an immediate embargo on the results of this referendum until this matter has been fully investigated. Craghead was not able to comment on the case.

The Union agreed to hear all of the claims, excluding the claim against Gallant. Associate Justices Mark Samburg 07 and Bryan Deutsch 08 dissented from the claim regarding the quiet period. Union Chief Justice Sam Dewey 06 refused to participate in the decision regarding the claim against Albert Cahn.

During the hearing last night, WBRS was represented by Glenn Prives 06, Alex Spigelman 07, and Jason Levine 06. They presented the argument that the Union attempted to intimidate student groups, and manipulate and rig elections.

Called as witnesses were Craghead, Assistant Dean of Student Life Alwina Bennett, WBRS DJ Jon Saucier 08, WBRS Program Director Deborah Model 06, Karpoff, Music Director Barri Yanowitz 06, Sports Director Andrew Katz 06, Special Productions Director Ben Gellman-Chomsky 08, and Feinberg.

Prives and Spigelman argued that the spirit of the law prevents the Union from taking the actions it is accused of.

The Union was represented by Jeremy Widder 06, Kelley Collacchi 06, and Union Secretary Aaron Braver 07. The defendants contended that no Union Constitution laws were broken. The Union also argued that the quiet period has not been in effect for the past three semesters, and that nothing prevents the Union from supporting an amendment.

In response to the claim against him, Cahn stated that I have done nothing wrong, and asserted that WBRS would rather tie the amendment up in court than let the students be heard in a vote. Cahn also said that WBRS says that their finances are an open book, but look what they do when you try to read between the lines. He finished by stating that I dont have time for this sort of mud slinging.

Union Treasurer Aaron Braver and Ziv Quad Senator Adam Gartner refused to comment. Feinberg could not be reached for comment at the time this article was written.