48.2 F

Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ASUCD Court finds president guilty

On May 18 the ASUCD Court held a hearing for the lawsuit filed against ASUCD President Adam Thongsavat for improper hiring techniques.

Based on a 9-0-0 vote, the court has found Thongsavat guilty of violating the bylaws in regard to hiring practices and in contempt of court for not appearing at the hearing.

“The president has been found guilty of not following the laws of the association,” said Rudy Ornelas, chief court justice, in an e-mail interview. “It is important for the students whom we all work for to hold us accountable. This allows them to see what actions are transpiring in ASUCD.”

The case was based on Sabrina Dias’ complaint that during a hiring interview for City and County Affairs director, improper techniques were used that violated the bylaws for professional hiring.

“According to the bylaws, the President, along with the next highest up unit director must be present for the interview,” said Dias, outgoing Housing Day director and Outreach Assembly speaker.

The next highest unit official was Kevin Pascual. Pascual was not present for Dias’ interview, but was present for her opponents’ interviews.

The guilty verdict will require that Thongsavat redo the interviews.

“Although I have not read the language of the court’s opinion, I’m OK with their decision. I’m a really reasonable guy,” Thongsavat said.

At the court hearing, Dias was the only member present, along with Ornelas and his council.

“[Adam] had a choice whether or not he wanted to show up. I believe that he had his reasons for that,” Dias said.

Thongsavat said that he did not appear in court because he felt that the issue was blown out of proportion.

“Before the hearing took place I had agreed to redo the interviewing process and felt that going to the hearing would have been ineffective,” Thongsavat said.

Because Thongsavat failed to file a mandatory brief and refused to show for the hearing, the court has asked the ASUCD Senate to join them in censuring Thongsavat.

“I’m not quite sure what will come of this,” Ornelas said. “The ASUCD Senate heard the verdict and the order of contempt was read, but they felt it was too harsh and that President Thongsavat was not in the wrong.”

Dias hopes that this case and the attention to violations will help to ensure a strong and liable future for the association as a professionally operating organization.

“I am not bitter about the decision that was made,” Dias said. “The reason I am doing this is because I believe all hiring should be fair. We are a professional organization that handles matters far beyond our own student body and our hiring process should reflect this.”

RACHEL LEVY can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.


  1. Yeah so I’m just gonna go out on a limb and play the guessing game since everybody in ASUCD loves to play charades with their names on the aggie website. Eli, stop calling people names. How old are you? We’re in college now so grow up. And i’m going to guess that the “other” concerned voter is a justice on the asucd court. BIG SURPRISE. can we all just move on and work on productive things?

  2. hello concerned voter. 1. I’m not Andre Lee (I think that’s who you are referring to) and I am not a person involved in ASUCD currently, but I do know the ins and outs of ASUCD and how dramatic it gets.

    2. Re-read my comment, I said nothing about the court finding him in contempt. I said two things, the first about using the term “guilty” which is not a proper term unless this was a criminal offense, which it isn’t. The second thing I said is that the court should not tell the Senate that they should censure the President, it’s not their place.

    That is all. Anyways, it’s over and people should learn from this and take interviews and the bylaws seriously.

  3. “Judicial Code SECTION 701.


    All Plaintiffs and all Defendants shall be afforded the following rights in having their cases adjudicated by the ASUCD Court:

    I. Each Defendant shall be entitled to appear and to participate fully, in all aspects of the proceeding and in equal capacity with every other Defendant throughout the entire hearing. A Defendant or may elect not to appear [sic], and such a failure to appear shall not be construed as evidence of fault or culpability.”

    What exactly is the court holding the President in contempt of?

    1. The Defendant was entirely within his rights to elect not to attend the hearing.

    2. In the Judicial Code there is no mention of a “mandatory brief.”

    3. There is also no definition (or even mention) of “Contempt of Court” or the requirements for being held in it.

    I would like the Court to be held accountable for its decision and produce a valid reason for its finding the Defendant in “contempt”. The Court is charged with interpreting the law as they see fit, not making things up as they go.

    Source: http://asucd.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/JUDICIAL-CODES-Complete-02.11.doc

  4. Cbill do you happen to be a certain Senator that looks like danny devito? just wondering, also, A court finding a president in contempt is nowhere near harsh, it happens often, it recently happened to Obama. and if the president isnt following the constitution and bylaws then why do we have him, in my opinion they should recall him

  5. A little much in the headline to say “found him guilty” when this is a civil remedy for not addressing court rules. Also, the action by the court to tell the Senate to censure Adam is a little harsh, and out of place for a COURT to do. The constant drama of ASUCD…hopefully they will fix their issues and move on from this and learn something.


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