Campus, News

SG slates exchange complaints after polls close Monday

Both Student Government slates have filed a total of 14 complaints to the Student Elections Commission since Sunday with regards to the Student Government Executive Board Elections.

This results in a total of 551 violation points incurred by TrueBU while BU’s Push to Start has not incurred any violation points.

In the most damaging complaint upheld by the SEC, TrueBU was charged with 200 violation points after the SEC found TrueBU Presidential Candidate Alexander Golob had been wearing a campaign button and giving students information about his slate and how to vote at an event hosted by the College of Fine Arts SG.

The SEC later voted to reduce the violation to 150 points after TrueBU appealed their initial decision on the grounds that Golob did not wear the button to intentionally promote the campaign.

TrueBU also incurred several 100-point violations for distributing campaign materials in classrooms, taping a campaign poster to a pillar in Marsh Plaza, placing campaign materials in Mugar Memorial Library bathrooms and campaigning in the George Sherman Union Link while voting was taking place — all of which are actions forbidden by the SEC’s Elections Code.

TrueBU denied committing any actions that would justifiably grant them violation points and, in turn, rob them of student votes.

“Our appeals are going to speak for themselves,” said Golob, a sophomore in CFA. “We think that we laid out very strong arguments rebutting all the complaints that were made against us.”

Though several complaints were filed against BU’s Push to Start for defamation, plagiarism and dispersing inaccurate information, none of the complaints were upheld by the SEC.

“I think the fact that we have zero violation points speaks for itself,” said BU’s Push to Start Presidential candidate Richa Kaul, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. “I’m just really proud of us.”

TrueBU also incurred a single violation point after the SEC found that a TrueBU postcard had been taped to a student’s door in Myles Standish Hall.

College of General Studies SG President Austin Kruger, a CGS sophomore, has come under fire for allegedly attending a campaign staff meeting for BU’s Push to Start and significantly contributing to their campaign. Kruger, who allegedly intended to run for SG executive board formerly, was accused of transferring endorsements previously offered to his campaign to Kaul, according to a complaint filed with the SEC. The SEC unanimously voted to defer this complaint pending further investigation.

A complaint was filed against TrueBU for violating a Massachusetts law that prohibits pressuring individuals to vote for a candidate in a public arena.

“Massachusetts election law applies to state Massachusetts elections, and local election law applies to local elections,” the SEC replied. “This election is a Student Government election, and thus it must abide by the rules set forth by the SEC in the Elections Code.”

A Cease and Desist Order was issued to both slates prohibiting them from offering laptop computers, or any other device capable of registering votes in the election, to eligible voters. The order followed complaints and accusations that TrueBU was confronting students with “an awkward situation to either say no or be forced to vote in front of members of a campaign staff,” though the complaints were not upheld, according to the SEC.

Adrian Baker contributed to the reporting of this article. 

CORRECTION: An original version of this article indicated Kruger had attended the campaign meeting. However, as the investigation is ongoing, these claims are not definite. Also, the article originally indicated that each violation point corresponds to one vote lost. The actual subtraction of votes is based on an algorithm and the removed vote total would be much lower. The online version of this article has been updated to reflect these changes. 

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