The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Inquirer applauds code changes

(Christopher C. Long)

The Election Committee did the right thing by finally dropping all charges against three Progressive Democratic Student candidates Francisco Hinajosa, Nick Holmes and Brian Donovan who ran for student government positions in the recent election.

These charges were based on a section of the Elections Code that is ill-conceived, poorly written and probably illegal.

As written, section 7.04 creates a situation in which candidates can be held responsible for the actions of someone unaffiliated with the election or the candidate’s campaign.

This not only unfair to the candidate, but also violates the First Amendment rights of students who want to take part in the election by voicing their opinions.

Bill Oye, dean of student life and co-adiviser to the ASDVC, said of section 7.04 in an e-mail message to Election Committee chair Ben Pradya:  “It goes somewhat against common sense to hold a candidate responsible for the behavior of a non-candidate.”

Additionally, the section assumes everyone – candidate or not – knows the code and is willing to abide by it.

And that means a candidate’s supporters must closely monitor their opinions, ‘lest they harm the standing of their candidate.

Indeed, Pradya even admitted a candidate would be held accountable, if The Inquirer printed an endorsement editorial without first getting the article pre-approved by the Election Committee.
The Inquirer would never do agree to such a draconian restriction, which flies in the face of the First Amendment’s protection of the press and the right to free speech.

Pradya’s tie-breaking vote to toss out all charges of election code violations is to be commended.
The next step is to replace section 7.04 with language that respects the democratic process, upholds the First Amendment and allows lively, unfettered debate.


Contact the Inquirer Editorial Board at [email protected]

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Inquirer applauds code changes