Flyer wars break out in USUAA campaigns

In the last two years, voter turnout for USUAA elections has doubled.

To three percent of UAA students.

Yet even without sizable student involvement, political scandal still plagues this USUAA election season.  One set of candidates in particular saw their campaign heat up last week through an epic battle over flyers.

Ryan Buchholdt and Amie Stanley are running for Student Body President and Vice President. The two candidates recently posted full-color sandwich board flyers, 10 of which were torn down less than 24 hours later.

“There is camera footage of the person taking them down.  UPD is currently in the process of dealing with that.  There are replacements being purchased, the individual has agreed to pay, and has paid for the full replacement cost for those,” Buckholdt said, adding that their table flyers have also gone missing in a seemingly unrelated event.

University Police Officer Shane Bozeman declined to comment since the investigation was still ongoing, though the police department did confirm the flyers were stolen, a confession was made and that the individuals had agreed to pay for the damages.

Although charges are not likely to be filed, the monetary value of the posters could have potentially made the act a theft in the third degree, which is a misdemeanor.  USUAA Senator Rachel Colvard, Chairman of the Rules committee, commented on the incident.

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“You shouldn’t be taking material down, absolutely not, if you want to offer a rebuttal, offer the rebuttal, but you should not be removing the material,” Colvard said.

The incident may be related to another flyer-themed episode that also occurred last week.  A double-sided, pink handout was passed around campus that, among other claims, had a copy of Stanley’s resignation letter to USUAA.

Stanley was a USUAA senator last semester when she, depending on who you ask, either resigned from office or was removed from office.

The flyer calls Stanley a quitter and accuses her of spending more time with the Debate team than she did as a USUAA Senator.  It features a letter, written by Stanley, that offers her resignation along with harsh criticism for the inactivity of USUAA.

The flyer was in line with a recent letter to the editor of The Northern Light, which called for a retraction in an article from October 2010 that claimed Stanley had resigned, citing USUAA meeting minutes as proof Stanley had been removed from office.

The pink handout also described specific events that Stanley was “taking credit for” but that, according to the flyer’s author, she was actually ineffective with.   The flyer also charges the reader to “stay tuned as more horse puckey is spewed more rebuttals will be offered.”

Although she was upset that her email was disclosed, a violation of her student rights, Stanley said she was happy to have her resignation letter a matter of public record.

“My biggest misappreciation comes from the fact that there’s no name attached, I don’t have a ability to respond, I don’t have any way to contact someone or even speak for my own name because they were too cowardly to put their own name on this publication,” Stanley said.  “I think the claims are fallacious at best.”

But the pink flyers have also gone missing.  Senator Colvard said she was aware of the flyer and knew its author, though she declined to give a name.  Colvard said personality clashes were to blame for the excessive flyer-drama.

“Mostly it might be personality conflicts and then, going back to the flyer that some claims have been made that may not be exactly correct.  And that rebuttals have been offered and instead of being rebutted, all those flyers have been taken,” Colvard said.

As for why there seems to be so much drama with this particular campaign, Colvard hoped students would draw their own conclusions.

“I think there’s some friction there between an honest debate,” she said.

That debate will be settled today as all three teams, including Ashley Vanderwall and Denali Blackmore and Daniel Ribuffo and Chris Barry take the battle to the ballot.  Elections are happening today, April 5 and run through tomorrow, April 6.