ASBSU receives threatening anonymous email creating political tension

The B
Corissa Campbell | The Arbiter

Two weeks ago on Thursday, Oct. 26, The Arbiter was forwarded an email by an ASBSU representative out of concern for its contents. The email was forwarded to the ASBSU representative from another anonymous email called “” who shared it with other student government members, confused about the subject matter. 

“Randomemailname968” explained how they had changed their own email address out of fear of being “in trouble” and claimed to have just been included on the anonymous email chain.

The original email, that was the cause of such distress, had the address “”, with the subject of the email as  “weekly update”. The email began with the ominous typed line,

“Hi All,

Let me begin by saying how proud we should all be of how the past few meetings have gone. I’ve heard that multiple liberal members of the assembly and executive cabinet are considering resigning which means that our strategy is working.” 

The email was introduced as an update and said that “new members who might be interested” in joining the Republican Party of ASBSU were included in the thread. The email refreshed members about the “new tactics” they are using to, “increase the influence of our conservative controlled senate to remove, or at least gridlock, members of the executive cabinet and assembly.” 

The ASBSU email writer went on to say that the referred tactics might “seem harsh” but claimed were “necessary to repel socialists like our current president” and called upon the party to remember that the new constitution was the motive for gaining, “complete control of ASBSU”.

The full document of the email can be accessed here

After the ASBSU joint meeting was adjourned that same day, ASBSU Vice President Jason Holmon and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Kalista Barkely sat down in front of the assembly and senate members that chose to remain in the room for their statement. It was made clear in the meeting that the email from was leaked to various members in ASBSU. 

“I will not tolerate people attacking each other,” Holmon stated. “I want everybody to respect each other regardless of disagreements, I don’t want to see personal attacks.”

He went on to explain the leaked email had been sent to the Office of the Information of Technology on Campus, and whoever had sent the email would be removed from ASBSU once their identity had been uncovered. 

Holmon called into account the purpose of ASBSU as a student-led organization to act on behalf of the good of the Boise State Community that functions as a nonpartisan body. 

“We are all here for a reason,” Holmon said. “We are able to move past this.” 

Immediately after receiving the anonymous email, The Arbiter contacted President Cheyon Sheen of ASBSU.

In an interview, Sheen clarified the situation at hand.

“I think it was sent out to create divide,” Sheen said. “We don’t know if it’s legit. We don’t know if there actually are Republicans of ASBSU and they’re all organized and stuff. We don’t know if it’s just to throw somebody under the bus. We haven’t heard back from OIT yet.” 

The Arbiter asked the President if she thought removing the member who sent the email from ASBSU was the correct action to take in light of the tension in the Senate and Assembly. 

​​“I think it’s fair terms for appropriate removal,” Sheen said. “ASBSU uses space to create community. If you’re specifically targeting people and discriminating of how they will be used in their political parties, that’s outside what we want to be.”

The contents of the email allude to certain issues ASBSU currently is smoothing out, such as applying their new constitution to positions under student government. The new constitution was voted into effect last semester after two days of a constitutional convention, and there are still policy gray areas the Executive Senate and Assembly continue to sift through. 

“There’s that conflict there because the transition from the old to the new obviously is not written down anywhere… We’ve never worked with this new constitution. It’s very, very different. And so both Jason and I, we were like, let’s lead in good faith,” Sheen said. 

Such discrepancies in the constitution led to an ethics complaint filed by three members of ASBSU against the President for what they thought was a violation of the new constitution. Two of those members rescinded their names from the complaint and the last person President Sheen said she is having conversations with. 

“It’s arguably been a little bit better but there is still a space where people are eager to point fingers and file complaints… Rather than having real discussions with humans. And that is my hope with this complaint… We sit and talk first,” Sheen said.

This year alone ASBSU has achieved milestones and actively involves itself into the heartbeat of student life on campus to pursue solutions for the campus community. 

They held the first student forum with sixty student participants partnering with the Institute for Advancing American Values. They allocated $7,500 for Thanksgiving Meal Kits for the Campus Food Pantry, and have created three new committees: the Sexual Violence Prevention Committe, Student Commuter Committee and Mental Heath Awareness Committee.

“I do know students saying, ‘I’m struggling with my mental health, I’m struggling accessing counseling services… I’m struggling with the transition from being from a small town to coming into Boise.’ You know, and it’s not like we should just ignore things in the Constitution, but also let’s understand that we are trying to navigate these things that were not written anywhere,” Sheen said. “And that’s what leadership is — let’s move forward and focus on the things that actually need to be done.” 

No information has been made available yet about the anonymous emailer from the Information Office of Technology.

Leave a Reply