Campaigns season begins

    The Students First slate and the Action slate are being accused of unethical campaigning for having student organizations reserve poster space for them before the start of official campaign time.

    Tyler Huff
    Guardian

    According to A.S. Elections Manager Jessica Williams, this is not against the bylaws, but is still questionable.

    “”It does get a little sketchy because of some of the orgs that were used,”” Williams said. “”For example, the Action slate used the MQ and Colin Parent is both the editor for the MQ and the presidential candidate on that slate. It is sketchy, but there are no bylaws saying that they can’t do that.””

    Williams said election bylaws state that campaign posting may begin at the start of the campaign period at 8 p.m. March 11. The election bylaws do not, however, regulate student organization postings.

    Anna MacMurdo
    Guardian

    Student organizations are permitted to hang any poster in the Price Center or Student Center. Posters hung by student organizations may only be removed by the organization that hung them.

    Williams said complaints of illegal campaigning involving the poster issue would not be valid.

    “”Since this is the first time that this has really happened, there were no bylaws against it, so no rules have been broken,”” Williams said.

    Though this practice is not forbidden by the bylaws, this led to allegations of unethical campaigning.

    “”It’s legal, but I think it’s circumventing the spirit of election bylaws,”” said Mark Stickel, an independent candidate running for Revelle College senior senator who witnessed the poster swapping when he tried to post his own.

    Jenn Brown, presidential candidate for the Students First slate and one of the candidates accused of unethical campaigning, said she was responsible for the hanging of KSDT and Kappa Alpha Theta posters, which were replaced with Students First posters Monday night.

    “”Sunday night I was hanging up some KSDT and Theta posters,”” Brown said. “”One of the principle members [of KSDT] gave us permission and was working with us to hang them up.””

    Brown said that student organizations should be allowed to act as they see fit, even if it means acting in a quasi-political role before a campaign officially begins.

    KSDT Radio denies claims that their posters were used to save space for Students First posters.

    “”Our posters were just advertising the radio station,”” said KSDT Operations Manager Jay Campbell. “”We are not currently backing any slate.””

    KSDT’s current promotions director at the station, Rishi Shaw, is Students First’s candidate for A.S. commissioner of programming.

    Colin Parent, Action’s presidential candidate, said that the MQ posters that his slate participated in hanging were not hung to save space. His slate did replace the MQ posters with Action slate campaign posters on Monday night.

    “”It was not a space-saving exercise, but a ‘learn-how-to-hang-a-poster’ sort of thing,”” Parent said. “”There is a certain method to hanging a poster correctly and it takes about an hour, at least, to learn. We wanted to practice.””

    Phil Paulisoul, presidential candidate for Together Our Goals Are Achievable, believes that the actions of those slates that hung student organization signs on Sunday night were improper.

    “”I think that it is bullshit,”” Paulisoul said.

    Stickel said he is concerned that the poster politics will turn an already alienated student body away from campus elections.

    “”I was going to put posters in the Price Center, but there was no space,”” Stickel said. “”Now I think talking to people [about my campaign] is the best way.””

    Sam Shahmardi, running independently for A.S. president, believes that the election bylaws on posting can be interpreted in more than one way.

    “”There are always ways to read between the lines,”” Shahmardi said. “”That is what is going on here.””

    Shahmardi says that he intends to follow the bylaws as directly as possible.

    “”I am not into the political game; I’m not going to do that,”” Shahmardi said. “”Those aren’t tactics I am going to use.””

    New Wave slate presidential candidate David Hansen said the New Wave did not attempt to save space prior to the campaign period.

    “”We have not posted a single thing yet,”” Hansen said prior to the campaign’s start. “”We are waiting until eight o’clock like the bylaws state.””

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