AS Board members gathered together for a group photo. // Illustration by Julia Berkman
A recall election for Associated Students Vice President of Business and Operations Genaro Meza-Roa is open for student votes over the weekend, according to an email sent out by AS Elections Coordinator Alec Willis on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
Students will be able to cast their votes on the Western Involvement Network website starting at 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 1. The election will close at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, according to the email.
Voters can expect to answer a single “yes or no” question on the online ballot, according to AS Recall Election code. If a simple majority of voters vote “yes” for the recall of Meza-Roa’s position, a separate election will be scheduled to fill the position, according to the 2018 AS Election Code. The election results will be announced on the AS Elections website by midnight on the day the vote closes, the code states.
The email sent by Willis included links to the minutes from the Jan. 18 meeting where the AS Board of Directors voted in favor of impeaching Meza-Roa, thereby calling for the recall election. The vote passed 6-1, with Meza-Roa voting no, according to the document.
Students wishing to campaign for or against the recall were instructed to read and abide by the code, the email said. The code includes restrictions against displaying or distributing any physical campaign materials such as posters, fliers, or buttons.
Campaigners must also refrain from leaving messages on classroom whiteboards and from offering any sort of bribe to elicit votes, the code states. On Friday, Jan. 25, the AS Board voted 5-1 in favor of an amendment stating that board members are not allowed to use their personal social media accounts for campaigning purposes. However, during the following board meeting on Feb. 1, the amendment was changed, allowing board members to use their personal social media to campaign during the recall election.
At the Jan. 25 meeting, Meza-Roa expressed that he does not use social media platforms himself, and it would be unfair for other board members to use them to campaign against him, he said, according to a recent Western Front article.
Meza-Roa has been accused by fellow AS employees of failing to satisfy the requirements of his position, including missing mandatory trainings and meetings, according to a previous Western Front article. Meza-Roa refused to accept the board’s request for him to step down from the position, and he intends to campaign to keep his job, according to the article.
“I wanted to bring a new perspective and a new voice. A lot of these accusations that have been raised today are baseless, false or taken out of context,” Meza-Roa said prior to the board’s vote, according to the meeting minutes.
The last time the AS faced a recall election was 9 to ten years ago, according to an article by the AS Review.
This story was updated on Feb. 1 to correct Alec Willis’ title to AS Elections Coordinator.
This story was updated on Feb. 2 correct the margin needed for Meza-Roa to be removed from his position: a simple majority from the student body is needed, not 40 percent as was stated. This 40 percent margin of student votes is an alternate form of initiating a recall election, which can also be initiated by the AS Board themselves.
This article was updated on Feb. 2 to include new relevant information regarding social media campaigning from the Feb. 1 AS Board meeting.