Isla Vista Beat Reporter
On Oct. 25, Associated Students (AS) President Daevionne Beasley released a statement detailing his resignation from his elected office. The decision followed a series of contentions with Beasley’s election, which has been petitioned for recall under accusations of sexual assault.
Beasley’s statement clarified that he will leave office on Thursday, Oct. 29, to best facilitate the transition of power between him and former Internal Vice President, Tianna White. The office of Internal Vice President will then be filled by Senate first pro-tempore, Catherine Flaherty.
In the past few weeks, AS has come under intense scrutiny for Beasley’s election, who multiple students accused of sexual assault starting from 2018. According to a statement released by the Isla Vista Party (IVP) back in April of this year, Beasley had been barred from queer spaces and events for sexual assault survivors due to the allegations. IVP themselves had even denied his application to run with their party after becoming aware of the allegations from before.
The Instagram page, @Gauchos4Transparency, rose to prominence this May after creating a petition to recall Beasley’s election, which was just approved this October after two previously unsuccessful attempts. The organization’s founder, Izzy Mitchell, took to social media and email to ask for elected AS officials to speak for survivors, urging them to respond to emails asking for a stand against Beasley in light of his allegations.
Multiple officials from the party chose to not respond. Some students saw it as a precaution; some saw it as avoiding accountability. The AS president at the time, Alison Sir, even put her social media on a temporary lockdown on May 19, regarding the ways in which students had chosen to approach her as “extremely inappropriate.”
Since the recent approval of the recall election, Gauchos 4 Transparency has provided their base with coverage on AS meetings discussing the details of the recall. One significant issue raised with the election has been the constituency of voters, which now includes first-year transfers and freshmen. Beasley filed an injunction asking for them to not be included in the recall election, as they were not part of the same voter population that elected him.
At the AS meeting on Oct. 21, AS voted 18-3 to overturn the injunction to not count any signatures on the petition from freshmen or first-year transfer students. According to a statement released by the UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) AS Elections Board on Oct. 23, they believed from the beginning that the details on the recall case should have been made accessible to all students, even new admits for the current school year.
“[We believe] that the use of judicial power to limit free discussion is dangerous,” clarified the AS Elections Board in their statement. “Even though we do not agree, we will be fully complying with the judicial order.”
Online activism platforms like Gauchos 4 Transparency have voiced their dissatisfaction with the injunction. On their Instagram page, founder Izzy Mitchell declared that anyone attending the university has a right for their voice to be heard.
“[Everyone pays] $200 to Associated Students every year,” stated Mitchell on her Instagram page. “This is the injunction by AS president to block his recall by attempting to disenfranchise nearly 20 percent of the UCSB student population, who are all due paying constituents.”