ASDVC disqualifies entire coalition from election


Guo speaking in front of committee

Aidan Sparks, Senior staff member

Silence fell over the room as the last vote by the Associated Students of Diablo Valley College’s election committee was put forth to disqualify Xiaotong Guo as well as her entire coalition from ASDVC’s general election after it was discovered that Guo voted for her own coalition members on another student’s voting ballot.

A student put in a complaint to ASDVC faculty advisor Todd Farr that explained how Guo approached him in the library asking if he would like to vote for the election, and despite him being unsure about it, agreed to vote if Guo explained the candidates’ platforms. Guo proceeded to have the student sign into his DVCSYNC account and chose for him candidates on the ballot.

“She gave me a brief overview on her coalition before clicking names on the ballot for me and then submitting the form. I never told her I wanted her to fill out the form for me,” explained the student in the email to Farr.

The election committee, headed up by ASDVC’s vice president of executive affairs, Asami Higuchi, called for an emergency meeting to discuss the situation and the possible consequences for Guo.

A heavy debate broke out among the members on how the situation should be handled. Other members of Guo’s coalition, while standing by her side, also questioned the committee on why every member should be punished for one person’s actions.

The reason why the rest of her coalition would be affected by Guo’s blunder is because of the ASDVC election committee’s bylaws, which explain that in an election setting, there is no individual, there is only the group unit.

Higuchi explained that, “when a coalition forms, the idea of an individual goes away and in its place is one group.”

Higuchi backed up her comment by explaining that this rule was written down in the bylaws.

As stated in 7.04 of the bylaws, “Candidates are responsible for their own actions and, if they choose to be in a coalition, then they are responsible for the actions and the decisions of their democratically operated coalition.”

After staying silent for the beginning of the meeting, Guo asked the committee if she could speak, and not only apologized heavily, but begged the committee to just give the punishment to her not her entire coalition.

“I just want to apologize. I am so sorry. I shouldn’t have clicked for him. I don’t want ASDVC or the rest of my coalition to suffer for my carelessness. I’ll take whatever punishment comes my way,” said Guo as she started to tear up.

Aidan Sparks
Guo apologizing to committee

Despite the rules set in place in the bylaws, many members fought against it, however a few members insisted that the bylaws be up kept, including presidential candidate and 2012 Inquirer staff member, John Michaelson.

“I don’t know what we can do, we can either restart the election or disqualification. The integrity of the election demands disqualification,” said Michaelson.

Many debated against the punishment of disqualifying the coalition and Guo, and when it came time for the vote, the tension in the room was high.

When the last member had to give his vote, he asked if he could abstain from voting, however faculty parliamentarian Tamara Dunning explained to him that he needed to vote as a member of the board.

“I know it’s harsh, but it is in your bylaws. You are student leaders, you need to be held to that,” said Dunning.

As mentioned before, the entire coalition was disqualified, which includes presidential nominee Sharita Snagg.

The election for president will now be between Trey Dao and Michaelson.

Current ASDVC president Kevin Zhang gave a few hopeful words at the end of the meeting.

“Let us remember to stay united, don’t point fingers, and to not forget that it is our duty to keep our student government strong and represent the students of DVC,” said Zhang.

The online election polls close Friday, April 20 at 8 a.m.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect that a presidential candidate John Michaelson was an Inquirer staff member in 2012. An earlier version of this story misspelled Asami Higuchi’s name and used the wrong title to describe her; Higuchi is the vice president of executive affairs.