The University Park Undergraduate Association Board of Arbitration voted unanimously 6-0 last night that defendants in the UPUA iPad case are guilty of two of the violations brought against them.
The board determined after a hearing Wednesday night that Chairman of the Assembly Spencer Malloy violated section 9.4.4 of the UPUA Budgetary Policy for not getting approval of the discretionary measures by a majority committee vote when the two iPads were purchased.
According to the Board of Arbitration ruling the board found no malice in Malloy’s actions and that he was acting only in good faith. Therefore the board has chosen not to levy sanctions on Malloy and will only do so if Malloy fails to follow this policy in the future.
The board also found that Malloy and the rest of the defendants, UPUA President Courtney Lennartz and Chief of Staff John Zang, violated section 9.4.2 of the budgetary policy when they did not file a report of the iPad expense to the assembly.
“I’m glad the situation was resolved expediently and I am looking forward to having the assembly and executives follow the recommendations,” Malloy (senior-agroecology and philosophy) said after the board announced the decision.
On Jan. 9, the Internal Development Committee filed a petition to review the purchase of two iPads in December 2012 by Zang. According to the original petition, multiple sections of the UPUA Budgetary Policy and the Code of Practical Standards were violated when Zang and Treasurer Matthew Falcon signed for two iPads at $499 each, totaling to $998 without tax. With tax, the total was brought to $1,057.88 and therefore a violation to the budgetary policy according to the plaintiffs’ petition.
The board found that the Code of Practical Standards is not under the boards purview and therefore not enforceable, according to the board’s official ruling. However the Assembly may or may not find violations with the code later on.
In the board’s decision Chief Justice of Board of Arbitration Ryan Thomas also charged the Assembly to pass procedures and rules governing the use of iPads for the future, he said.
“[The case] is a learning process for everyone,” Thomas (senior-psychology) said.
Off- Campus Representative for Internal Development Anthony Christina, speaking on behalf of the plaintiffs, said they are happy with the outcome of the hearing.
“We are extremely pleased with the board’s ruling and the Internal Development Committee is already in the works of crafting legislation per the board’s charge in correcting asset management,” Christina (senior-political science and history) said.
The hearing began Wednesday night with opening statements from Christina speaking on behalf of the plaintiffs.
Christina said that the issue involved, “a clear, conscious act taken by the defendants,” and a, “matter of trust that was broken.” Christina referenced multiple sections of the UPUA Budgetary Policy that, in his opinion, the defendants violated when purchasing the two iPads.
Christina said in his opening statement that the defendants violated section 9.4.2 of the budgetary policy, which they were found guilty of, when the defendants did not file a one-page typed report of the discretionary spending. Christina said during the hearing that this was “one of the easiest things they could have done.”
According to the UPUA Budgetary Policy, if a one-page report is presented to the assembly then the assembly votes to review the discretionary spending. However, the defendants did not send a report and will not have to under these circumstances however must do so in the future, according to the board’s official hearing.
Christina also argued in his statement that pooling of funds was used to purchase the iPads without bringing the expense to the floor of the assembly, and that the iPads represent a personal, non-contractual gain by UPUA members.
Malloy and the other defendants were not found guilty on these charges.
When Christina asked Zang during his opening statement whether or not the iPad was synched to his personal account, Zang answered no. However, according to the hearing brief, the iPads are not registered in the name of UPUA but personally to John Zang and Spencer Malloy.
Zang said although personal contacts are on the iPad that are necessary for his job in UPUA, little other personal information is on the iPad.
Malloy spoke for the defense in his opening statement following Christina. He listed off key points in response to the alleged violations, including, “that the purchases was below $1,000, that it was done in good faith, that the iPads are distinctly not for personal possession and will, as repeatedly noted, be returned at the end of the legislative session,” Christina said.
Malloy confirmed to the board that the organization and not the individuals own the iPads, he said. In addition, the iPads are easy to wipe clean for the next member to use and therefore are not for personal use or possession, Malloy said.
Daily Collegian reporter Mary Chuff contributed to this report.