The College Electoral Commission (EC), the student body responsible for organising and regulating College elections, has redrafted their rules for campaigning ahead of this year’s sabbatical elections. The redraft includes stricter rules surrounding sponsorship of campaigns, participation by current sabbatical officers and the confiscation of materials among others.
According to article 1.5.f of the revised Schedule 3, current sabbatical officers must “stay neutral” when dealing with all candidates unless they “themselves are candidates.”
Article 1.4.c has been redefined to add the clause that “sponsorship also includes participation with campaigning by any individual acting in their capacity with any internal or external organisation.” Recognising the power of the internet as a campaigning tool, the EC has added that “any persons acting on behalf of the candidate, is subject to these election regulations” regarding online campaigning.
Flyering has not escaped the watchful eye of the Commission. They have now granted themselves the authority to impose “further sanctions” on candidates deemed to have breached flyering regulations.
An addition to the rules includes that of the “campaigning area”. Article 2.5 of Schedule 3 has been added to define the rules regulating the area, which include limiting the area to “the College Campus, D’Olier St. (“The Gas Building”), Trinity Halls or any institution affiliated with Trinity College or the University of Dublin.”
Finally the EC have also officially confirmed through the use of Schedule 3 that any deposits not returned to candidates (usually as a result of a breach of rules) will be given to a charity “chosen by the EC.”
According to the Students’ Union Education Officer Ashley Cooke, the rules were changed “to make the elections as fair as possible” and together with the EC, they have introduced this new criterion to “adequately discourage any candidate from breaking rules.”
Campaigning begins at 11pm on Sunday February 7 and will finish at 4pm on February 18. Voting takes place between the February 16 and 18.
All students wishing to put their names forward as candidates must submit their applications to the Education Officer by January 24.