Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Meh. Voter registration. Whatever. It looks like the ASUC and the Cal Votes Coalition are trying to have it both ways in terms of nonpartisanship:
UC policy states that only nonpartisan organizations are allowed to enter the residence halls and dining commons to register voters.From the Office of the President, though, we can see policy 42.50 of their student activity policies:
Some ASUC senators raised concerns over the coalition's viability as a nonpartisan organization last week after the senate voted to adopt a stance against Proposition 85.
But Chu said the Cal Votes Coalition is made up of a number of student groups, most of which take political stances. However, when they come together, they form a nonpartisan force, he said.
...campus implementing regulations may authorize non-partisan student voter registration activities that are carried out either directly by, or under the direct supervision of and on behalf of, a campus student government or other official unit of the University on University grounds that are not open to the public generally, including campus residence halls and dining commons, subject to specified conditions to be established by each campus.The requirement is that it is done on behalf of the student government, which means that passing off the Cal Votes Coalition as something different is a pretty cheap effort to have it both ways. Either it is being done on behalf of the ASUC, and thus the ASUC needs to be acting in a non-partisan manner, or it isn't, and doesn't have this access. I don't think there's anything that can technically be done, because the university can insist that the voter registration activities themselves are non-partisan, but that's pretty weasely, since their association with the ASUC itself can (theoretically, if anyone gave a crap what the ASUC said) affect people. If the Cal Dems were there registering voters with their Cal Dems shirts or whatever, even if they weren't advocating for the Democrats, it would seem kind of shady.
The Daily Cal, of course, completely misses this point. They think that we can trust the ASUC, and that's good enough for them.
In any case, this is all irrelevant, since the university's unofficial policy on such things is "Everything is allowed, until someone objects, in which case whichever side presents the cheapest/most PR-friendly option is correct," and I haven't heard of any real effort from objectors to make a case.
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