Eric Lendrum, Politics Contributor
The race for control of the California College Republicans statewide board has not cooled off, with a little over one month left to go before the convention. The convention has finally been announced for the final weekend of April, the 28th through the 30th, in San Jose. But as the opposition slate, Rebuild CCR, continues to add more candidates to its ever-increasing roster, its proponents continue to claim that the establishment slate, Thrive CCR, is deliberately throwing obstacles into its path to victory.
First, the leader of Rebuild CCR and candidate for Chairwoman, Ariana Rowlands, has continued to remind everyone about the silence on behalf of Thrive in regards to the key issue of chapter charter information. As discussed in a previous piece, there has been serious ambiguity about what exactly is required of a chapter in order to apply for, and receive, official chartered status within the statewide federation. As chartering status subsequently grants the right to cast votes in the CCR election, this has become a major area of focus. Pro-Rebuild chapters have claimed that they have been denied the necessary information to gain chartered status, and they feel it is directly due to their support of Rebuild.
Now, with the date of the convention officially announced, the 30-day deadline is closing in, and the state board has issued its mass email of the “Call to Convention” to all chapters in the state, as outlined in Article IX, Section 4 of the CCR Constitution. However, Rowlands has pointed out that, out of the 10 pieces of logistical information that the Call to Convention is supposed to include, only three were included in the actual email: Areas A - C, which cover the basic details about the actual convention location and accommodations per chapter (including hotel room costs and registration costs). Yet the email leaves out areas D - J, which cover the requirements for receiving chartered status, the deadlines for the return of all convention materials, and the requirements for officially becoming a state board candidate, among other things.
Without these requirements, Rowlands says, chapters have no idea what they are supposed to send in order to receive chartered status, and candidates who aren’t already affiliated with the current state board (as many Thrive candidates are) won’t know what they are to submit in order to officially be considered a candidate. Rowlands made this lack of necessary information public in a Facebook post, where she copied her response email to incumbent chairwoman Ivy Allen of Pepperdine University (which she sent on March 7th), officially requesting that Allen amend the Call to Convention and include all of the other necessary information. As of the time of this article’s publication, Rowlands has not indicated that she received any kind of response from Allen.
On top of that, a new controversy has arisen concerning the legitimacy of certain chapters’ endorsements between the two competing slates.
On March 8, the Thrive Facebook page announced that the chairman of the UC Berkeley CR chapter, Jose Marine Diaz, had switched his endorsement from Rebuild and its chair candidate, Ariana Rowlands, to Thrive and its chair candidate, Leesa Danzek. Although the post vaguely attributes the endorsement to the Berkeley chapter as a whole, a source within the chapter confirmed to The Millennial Review that the chapter as a whole has not yet officially endorsed one side or the other in the race. Thus, it appears that this switch was only on behalf of Diaz himself, as an individual, and not on behalf of the chapter. The Berkeley chapter has only one representative running for state board, on either slate: Troy Worden, who is running as Rebuild’s candidate for Administrative Vice Chair, which is the third-highest position in the state board’s hierarchy.
Roughly a week later, Thrive posted a similarly contentious post asserting that it had been endorsed by the CR chapter at Santa Clara University. However, the chapter’s president, Justin Azzarito, immediately commented on the photo declaring that the chapter was still officially in support of Rebuild, as indicated by a post from Rebuild’s Facebook page on January 23rd. On that same post, UCSB chairman and Rebuild’s candidate for Chief of Staff Andrew Gates asserted that the remainder of Azzarito’s executive board had gone behind his back and had a “backroom vote” to endorse Thrive, without notifying Azzarito or the rest of the club. The Santa Clara chapter is one of the “divided” chapters in this race, with representatives running on both slates: Azzarito is running with Rebuild for Bay Area Vice Chair, while former president Trent Carlson is running with Thrive for Treasurer.
Both of these occurrences have subsequently raised concerns about what truly defines a chapter’s official “endorsement” for one slate or the other: The chairman/president, the executive board as a whole, or some other authority entirely, such as the general members of the club in a popular vote. This issue could cause controversy going into the convention; as the race for chapter endorsements is a fairly tight one (26 - 20 in favor of Thrive, not counting these two chapters in question), each and every single endorsement counts - especially when a larger and more active chapter like Berkeley is in question.
You can follow the author on Twitter: @EricLendrum26.
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