Former AS president, UCSD alumnus Utsav Gupta sent out an email to many students containing demonstrably false and misleading information, urging students to vote yes on the DI referendum.
In the email he claims that those on financial aid will not be harmed by this referendum because of its 29% allocation to increase aid funds. This is misleading, since some financial aid comes in the form of loans which must be repaid, and in that case will hurt those on financial aid. He claims that our US News ranking will be improved by a DI program. This is false, since US News does not consider sports in its ranking, and only through increased alumni support (not sports) would our ranking improve. He claims that UCSD is the only DII UC. This is misleading since it implies that all other UCs are DI, when in fact UCSC is DIII and UC Merced is not currently in an NCAA division. He claims that this referendum is a step towards a football team. This is misleading because he does not note the fact that the Feasibility study concluded football was not feasible at UCSD and would entail an additional $33 million to support.
Given 1) the immense influence that this act could have on the election, 2) its egregious impropriety considering its inaccuracy and possibly improper access to a UCSD-wide listserv, 3) previous allegations of serious conspiracy and foul play, given 4) that AS has no authority over Mr. Gupta since he is neither part of an official campaign nor a student, 5) that Mr. Gupta is an employee of UCSD as an Alumni Outreach Officer and that other UCSD employee’s have had their personal opinions on private networks censored in an effort to maintain neutrality, and 6) that requesting an apology or fine will not undo the impact this misinformation may have on the election results:
I ask the AS Elections Committee, Advocate General, and/or Judicial Board to recognize these as exceptional and extenuating circumstances regarding the two-day deadline for considering this grievance.
If these entities are unable to establish exceptional and extenuating circumstances, and are thereby unable to consider this grievance, I ask that these entities, and AS Council to do the following immediately: 1) publicly denounce this email as an egregiously improper effort by a UCSD employee to influence a student election, 2) publicly endorse, promote, and provide access to at polling stations the letter writing campaign I have initiated concerning this email 3) seriously consider the potential for this email to undermine the possibility of this election remaining neutral, fair, and valid.
[This grievance was covered by the UCSD Guardian on March 5th, 2012. Between February 27 and March 9 UCSD undergraduates will vote on a referendum that will raise the Athletics student fee 134%, to a total of $854 per year, in order to fund a move to D1 in the event that UCSD receives a bid from a D1 conference.]
Don’t forget to vote!