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May 1, 2015

SG election delayed, E&R addressed complaints against slates

The Elections & Rules Committee (E&R) delayed the SG election and held a meeting on Wednesday night to discuss multiple allegations against specific parties running for Student Government executive office. The chief complaint, regarding an alleged recording by Open Minds Slate, has been withdrawn. However ONE Slate intends to reinstate the complaint tomorrow. According to the E&R minutes, a statement regarding these allegations is forthcoming. Neither Open Minds Slate nor ONE Slate had a statement available at the time of print. As of now, none of the slates has been disqualified and no major penalties have been issued.

The second issue discussed involved a complaint against the Moose Party Slate regarding disruptive behavior. The E&R Committee decided not to act on this issue, citing Moose Party Slate’s intent.

It said, “Although there was a lot of satire [Moose did] not intend to break election rules.”

The next allegation was that there was collusion between the TK Appreciation Slate and the Moose Party Slate, which was issued in response to TK’s endorsement of Moose. The issue was resolved when it was revealed Moose only received TK’s endorsement after TK dropped out of the running.

The third issue was a complaint against second year Emma Smith, a potential cabinet member of the Open Minds slate. Smith was cleared of all charges, but E&R did issue “a warning to the campaign team in the spirit of the election.” The issue at hand surrounded Smith’s posting of a misunderstood policy in a closed Facebook group: that “cabinet members are paid hundreds of dollars. [Open Minds] is promising to abolish this policy.” While SG had already decided not to propose SG member stipends, E&R acknowledged that this misunderstanding was reasonable based on the evidence available publicly.

The fourth issue addressed a Maroon Letter to the Editor that criticized the way some slates represent themselves and their potential cabinets as an issue of false advertising. A slate’s cabinet can only be finalized once that slate has been elected to office and has been confirmed by the College Council; advertising potential cabinet members before a slate has been elected could misinform voters. By advertising potential cabinet members before they have been elected, a slate could be inadvertently lying to its voting base. However, the issue brought forth was that team members of multiple slates, who are also running for College Council, have signed the petition, suggesting possible collusion. In response to this, the E&R Committee has not issued any formal statement and “awaits a formal complaint.”

Lastly, Open Minds Slate came forward to admit that it had overspent its budget on stickers, paying for the them partly out of pocket. It turned over its stickers to the E&R Committee and was unanimously absolved from any wrongdoing.

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