As the candidates took to the debate stage last Wednesday, there was an air of excitement among almost all of the candidates. They were eager to make their case to the students as to why they should serve in UC student government.
For Andrew Harvey, however, that excitement was clouded by stress and anxiety. While he announced last Friday that he was deemed ineligible to run for office due to a past offense, he and his team learned the news on Wednesday, moments before he took the stage.
With the spring election closing tonight at 8 p.m., the CU Independent spoke with Harvey about what happened, how he and his campaign reacted and what his disqualification from this election means. week.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
CU Independent: So you found out you weren’t eligible just before the debate?
ANDREW Yeah, that was right before the debate. [The election commissioner] called me and asked if I was in good standing with the school and I said yes. I went back to my email and found this message from July of last year basically saying, “A photo of you was found outside without a mask during the mask mandate, and because of that, you’re no longer in good standing with the school.” And that won’t end until July 1st.
CUI: What do you think of the suddenness of hearing this news and not hearing it when you and your ticket launched this campaign seven months ago?
A: The fact that I’ve been working on this campaign for, what, seven months and almost two months as a candidate, and then hearing a few days before the election, it was brutal.
Megan McDougall, Director of Public Relations and Social Media for Inspire: It felt like something that should have been a first step rather than an afterthought.
CUI: After announcing your withdrawal from the campaign, your supporters flooded the comments with the hashtag #LetHimRun in support. You yourself also wrote #LetMeRun in one of your Instagram stories. Was there a conversation in your campaign about disputing your eligibility?
A: We literally did everything in our power as students to make this happen. We contacted administrators with whom we have connections, camped outside the chancellor’s office on Friday and went to the dean’s office. We have probably emailed every admin at this school and received no response. The only thing I got was a response with a link to CAPS (Counseling and Psychiatric Services), which is ironic because all we’re running on is that CAPS is a broken system.
CUI: It was a very long part of the debate.
A: Yeah. We have had no answers. We finally spoke to the Dean and I told him how much I cared, that I had been through CURJ (CU’s restorative justice program) and he couldn’t even give me an answer. It hurts. It just shows that the school is not there for the students right now.
CUI: Let’s take a step back and think about the CURJ and how it might affect future applicants and students. What do you think of CURJ? Do you think it’s a fair system?
A: There should definitely be a restructuring. The school has to communicate with the students, which I don’t think it does. And I think the ineligibility needs to be completely reworked. I think CURJ is meant to restore justice and help teach students what they did wrong – and I learned from that process – and I wanted to apply what I learned from my position and help from other people, but the school didn’t let that happen.
A: This whole experience was my first political experience, and until very recently I was like, ‘Holy shit, maybe this is something I want to pursue later in life.’ But after all that, it really took me away from politics and showed me another part of Boulder that I had never seen before.
CUI: Clarify that for me. What do you mean by “a different part of Boulder?”
A: I have always been involved in student life, I haven’t had many meetings with the administration. But it shows me that the administration is almost selfish. They think about money and reputation before students. And the reason we’re here, the reason this whole place is here, is to educate students. Right now, I feel like school has stripped me of my passion. (Editor’s note: Eligibility for elections is specified in the CUSG Election Code, not in the school administration, written by CUSG and overseen by the Commissioner of Student Elections.)
CUI: Going back to Instagram, with followers commenting on #LetHimRun, Barstool Buffs, who endorsed you, left a comment under your post saying, “Chancellor DiStefano was arrested for DUI just months before be made chancellor, but a student who was caught without a mask more than a year ago cannot hold a leadership position [sic] and is ineligible to run? Bit hypocrite @cuboulder. What do you think about this?
A: My thought was that it was a bit on the edge. But also, the Chancellor is someone who should believe in second chances. You know, he made a mistake, a pretty big mistake. And yet, he is still chancellor of our school. And that comment came from Barstool, not us. They approved of us, but we don’t have that kind of relationship.
CUI: Is there anything else you would like to say to your supporters and voters going out this week?
A: I came to Boulder to ski and make friends. But this year, I decided to do something much bigger than that. And I sacrificed everything I love for this campaign, and everything was ripped from me. At first it was a defeat and I will actually shout out to my whole team, they literally lived in my house during those post-crisis days. But I’m still here. I believe in Inspire, our policies and our people. Even though I don’t have a stake in the game, I’m still here, spending all my time there trying to get votes. That’s what I believe, you know? Everything was taken away from me but I am still dedicated to it because I have a passion and our team has a passion for our community. We have dedicated ourselves to this.
Voting closes Friday, April 8 at 8 p.m. Students can vote on Buff Portal.
Contact William Oster, freelance editor of CU Breaking News, at William.Oster@colorado.edu.