On Thursday night, We Are Oregon campaign manager, Taylor Allison, filed a second grievance against the UO Forward slate, once against calling for the removal of its campaign members from the ballot.
The grievance claims that UO Forward has violated the sanctions of the ASUO Constitutional Court ruling, which banned the group from campaigning due to what it determined was convincing evidence that the slate collected student phone numbers as part of a petition drive to freeze tuition to deliver to the board of trustees, with the secondary purpose of using the contact information to reach out to voters during elections week.
The grievance contains snapshots of UO Forward members surrounding a beer pong setup during a protest that declared the ASUO Constitutional Court’s decision had violated the UO Forward members’ first amendment rights. Some members of UO Forward can be seen wearing the purple campaign t-shirts at the event.
The grievance cites that the “organized appearance” of members of UO Forward wearing campaign t-shirts and playing beer pong is in direct violation of the Constitutional Court’s ruling to ban the campaign from engaging in “in-person media.” The photo was taken by Erin Horwitz, a We Are Oregon run-off candidate for Senate Seat 1.
The grievance then states that a petition conducted during the event was used as a means to contact voters later in the night for phone banking – which was prohibited by the Constitutional Court as part of its sanctions against UO Forward. According to a testimony by Kenneth Ancell included in the grievance, he was approached by Shawn Stevenson at the event, who also is the campaign manager for UO Forward, “asking me to sign a petition regarding the First Amendment that I was told would be given to administration.” Ancell then states that he filled out the petition under the pseudonym “Steven,” and was called at 7:36 p.m. that night by someone asking for “Steven,”asking whether he had voted yet. The entire interaction was recorded. The grievance also includes a recording of the We are Oregon run-off election candidate for Senate Seat 8, Evan Roth, in which the caller confirmed that they were calling on behalf of UO Forward.
The grievance contains six other testimonies as evidence that UO Forward engaged in phone banking as well as sightings that stated the campaign had occupied Mackenzie 229 for the purpose of conducting it. Also, attached to the grievance is a PDF used as evidence that Mackenzie 229 had been reserved under the name “Campus Voter Coalition” in UO Scheduling and Events.
Allison also sent in a injunction request to the Constitutional Court to stay the release of the results of all ASUO elections (except Senate Seat 23 – which has no UO Forward candidates running for the position), in order to ensure the grievance filed during elections can be applied to the fullest extent if need be.
The injunction request expresses concern that if the results are revealed first before disqualification is decided, and UO Forward presidential candidate, Helena Schlegel, and its vice-presidents have won the run-off, then Helena Schlegel would be granted immunity from removal.
“We are neither admitting nor denying that we were phone banking. We just believe that the Constitutional Court’s decision was directly against university policy. Therefore it is invalid, and does not bind us to follow it” Stevenson said.