Elections carry controversy
Final trial for CSUN executive hopefuls brings mixed messages
By Haley Etchison and Rochel Leah Goldblatt
Candidates from the Students 4 Students and Rebels United parties hit the pavement on Wednesday amid controversial campaign tactics in the CSUN Executive Board general elections.
Illegal fliers were posted in many places on campus throughout the day.
One version of the paper showed Ciavola’s face superimposed on a cartoon of Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat wearing the Mad Hatter’s hat. The flier bore the phrase “the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Express endorsed candidate” and “Reject Ciavola.”
Another said “Vote 4 Cory Bradley” and included a photo of Bradley walking a pageant runway with “… and a 3.9 GPA” written below.
Members of the Rebels United campaign followed who they claimed was Democratic Party activist Angie Sullivan around campus and said they witnessed her leaving from the reserved lot between Tonopah Hall and Frank and Estella Beam Hall at night.
Rebels United supporter Ken Minster identified Sullivan from photos on her Facebook page, and the party believes she may be among those behind the effort.
Late Wednesday night, Sullivan and UNLV student Mercedes Haefer began tweeting about Ciavola. Neither mentioned the fliers specifically.
Haefer released Ciavola’s phone number in a tweet. She was indicted in June for allegedly targeting PayPal in a campaign associated with the Internet group Anonymous.
Some of the leaflets bear the phrase “paid for by ABC Productions,” which Ciavola aid could refer to a social media campaign called “Anyone But Ciavola.” Two Facebook accounts associated with ABC were shut down due to alleged harassment.
[flickr id=”7071044283″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”false” size=”original” group=”” align=”left”]“Our job is to represent CSUN,” said Rebels United presidential hopeful Mark Ciavola, “and I think that elections are the best advertising that CSUN gets.”
“It is very difficult just to get students to vote because the majority of students thought that elections ended with the primaries,” said Students 4 Students senate president candidate Omar Quasssani.
Both Ciavola and Quassani said that their commitment to CSUN would not waver if they were to lose their races.
“The best thing I can do [if I lose] is to provide my ideas for the candidate that did win,” Quassani said.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Ciavola said. “I held [current undergraduate student body president] Sarah Saenz accountable for a year. I will hold Cory Bradley accountable for a year [if she wins]. I will still represent students to the best of my ability and try to make CSUN a better place.”
An individual campaigning for the Students 4 Students Party in the free speech zone near Lied Library on Wednesday said that candidate Cory Bradley should be undergraduate student body president on the grounds that she is “the age of a student.”
The individual was seen shouting at students and refused to give his name to The Rebel Yell.
“I’m not the person to talk to,” said the individual, who is allegedly named Chip.
The individual refused to comment until he was asked why he supports Bradley.
“Because I’m a fan of her policies, if you must know,” he said.
Asked to specify which policies he backs, the individual alluded to the idea that Bradley’s opponent, Mark Ciavola, is unfit to be president on the grounds that he is not “the age of a student.”
Ciavola, 37, is a non-traditional student.
“Don’t you believe that a president of a student body should be, one, a student?” said the unnamed Students 4 Students supporter.
Karla Washington is a CSUN senator for the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, but she said that she supports Students 4 Students as a student, not in her official capacity.
Washington, also a non-traditional student, said that she backs Bradley and Quassani precisely because they stand for all students.
Washington said that she did not know the anonymous campaigner, who fled the free speech zone when The Rebel Yell continued questioning him about backing Students 4 Students.
“I have no idea why he ran away, but that’s not cool,” she said.
Asked why he would not speak to The Rebel Yell, the individual said, “I have a first amendment, I’m pretty sure.”
The individual repeatedly referred The Rebel Yell to speak with Quassani.
Quassani said that he could not remember the anonymous campaigner’s name.
“It’s one of [Bradley’s] friends,” he said. “We don’t really know him that well. He came and he was like, ‘I’m a student. I want to support you guys and tell me what I can do for you.’”
Quassani said that the individual had been briefed on the ticket’s platform.
Students 4 Students is campaigning with promises of parking improvements and expansion of the CSUN scholarship program.
A student campaigning for Rebels United allegedly passed out campaign fliers to students in line for the polls, in violation of CSUN election rules.
Rochel Leah Goldblatt reports on CSUN student government for The Rebel Yell. Contact her at