A number of sanctions have been laid down by the Electoral Commission as a result of violations of the EC rules that govern Sabbatical Officer elections.
Communications Officer candidate, PJ Moloney was sanctioned as a result of a group email that was sent out on Facebook by a member of his campaign team. The EC ruled that this was in violation of regulation 2 (2) of Schedule 3 of the SU Constitution. As a result, the EC has ruled that he must remove his campaign video, ‘Be Happy’, until midnight.
Speaking to Trinity News, PJ stressed that he felt that the current regulations governing the elections were not in keeping with current technology and social media: “Having to take down my campaign video for 12 hours is certainly a blow, but I am determined to run this campaign within the existing rules, as well as to run it using 21st Century communications methods. Considering the video has had nearly hit 2,500 views already, I think that I have already started to show the potential of organized multimedia communications.This sanction is an example of how the regulations are aimed towards paper-based campaigns…the rules are vague and simply not suited to 21st century communicative methods. When I decided to run I decided not just to make promises about what kind of Communications Officer I would be, but to prove what kind of Communications Officer I would be by the way I run this campaign. The old-fashioned election rules are getting in the way a bit, but that’s OK, we’ll make it work.”
It has also been reported that Ents candidate, Alex Giersz has had to remove her Facebook page until midnight as a result of an EC ruling, although the reasons for this have not been made clear yet. In speaking to Trinity News, Alex explained the reasons for her sanction: “I was given the penalty because I am hosting an event next Tuesday, 11th February on behalf of the Trinity Cancer Society and a member of this society was unaware of the campaign rules and invited a number of other members to the event.”
Sorry guys, had to take down my FB page until Wednesday midnight so you won’t be able to see the event until then! pic.twitter.com/Z0TmBM8CpX
— Aleksandra Giersz (@alexfights4ents) February 4, 2014
Another candidate in the Ents race, Ben O’Mathuin has also been severely sanctioned due to his online activity. It has been reported to Trinity News that he changed the profile photos of a number of Facebook nightclub pages he controlled, to display pictures of his campaign picture. This has reportedly allowed the EC to remove his Facebook page until Saturday.
Ian Mooney of the Welfare race was sanctioned for pre-campaigning and has been banned from any online activity until midnight. It was reported that a ‘Good Luck’ status was released a week before campaigning and although it was deleted almost immediately, a member of the EC spotted it and as a result Ian has been sanctioned.
Jasper Pickersgill also had his Facebook page removed but it came back online this morning. It has been speculated that he will be sanctioned again at an EC meeting tonight for repeatedly using a table in the Arts Block to set up a stand despite it not being his delegated time. Update: Pickersgill was sanctioned last night and was not allowed to campaign in the Arts Block today.
More as we get it.