The AUSG executive board issued the following statement at the conclusion of voting in the Fall 2017 AUSG election cycle regarding allegations of harassment during campaigning.
Throughout the past week of campaigning for the Fall 2017 American University Student Government elections for seats in the Undergraduate Senate and class/school councils, a number of incidents involving harassment and removal of campaign materials were reported.
The executive board of AUSG denounces these reported acts in the strongest possible terms. One campaign in particular brought it to public attention that allegations were not dealt with by the elections commission in a manner that was acceptable to them.
The identity of the target of the most egregious of the acts, a woman of color, also must not be ignored. We have struggled with implicit bias in student government in the past, and it is abundantly clear that we continue to struggle with it today.
Unauthorized removal of campaign materials, vandalism of campaign materials, and general harassment of candidates and/or campaign staff are not only acts already prohibited by the current AUSG Elections Policy Book, but also are acts that fly in the face of the values that we try to live up to everyday as student representatives.
The executive board calls on the newly elected Undergraduate Senate to inquire into any aforementioned claims made during the Fall 2017 AUSG elections and the AUSG response that followed.
While AUSG’s jurisdiction ends with students active in the organization and those running for a position, we must work to develop clear procedures to refer those who are targets of harassment to appropriate university officials-- harassment is not just a violation of the Elections Policy Book, it is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
We cannot, and we will not, allow this behavior to become “acceptable” by any means in AUSG.
AUSG Vice President