The three slates running in the Boston University Student Government Executive Board election have received a total of 12 complaints filed through the Student Elections Commission since beginning their campaigns March 21.
BU Recharged has received zero violation points from the complaints, while the Clean Slate received a total of 110 violation points from six complaints and NewBU received a total of 100 violation points from three complaints.
Within 48 hours after a complaint is filed against a slate or a member of a slate, members of the SEC hold an internal discussion to review, investigate and decide the following course of action, according to the SEC Elections Code. Complaints can be confirmed as a violation of the code, and the complaint’s respondent would be awarded violation points.
Complaints can also be dismissed by a majority vote of SEC voting members or deferred for a later vote for further investigation, according to the SEC Elections Code.
People who received the complaints will have a chance to appeal, explained SEC Vice Chair of Events Kate Ryan.
“Once we have all the facts, we present it and discuss it, then we vote on it,” said Ryan, a junior in the College of Engineering. “We have a pretty strict adherence to the internal code of how many violation points are filed.”
Two complaints were filed against BU Recharged.
One complaint was against Justin Flynn, the vice president of finance candidate, for including in his biography that he was a judicial commissioner. The complaint claims he had resigned by then. The SEC then issued a “cease and desist letter” to Flynn, a junior in the Questrom School of Business, and ordered no violation points because the biography was submitted before Flynn resigned from his position.
The other complaint was against Louis Vitti, the presidential candidate, for wearing a BU Recharged pin at a Senate meeting, as Senate meetings are included in the no-campaign area. SEC ordered no violation points.
Vitti, a junior in Questrom, said the reason his slate hasn’t received violation points thus far is because every post or statement the slate makes is deliberately checked to make sure it is in compliance with SEC rules.
“We have been extra cautious in making sure that we are checking the election code,” Vitti said. “We’re just utilizing word of mouth as much as we can, which is definitely the safest route. Before we do anything or post anything online, or anywhere, we are always checking back to the election code.”
Jake Brewer, Clean Slate’s candidate for president, said the slate plans on appealing one of the complaints that stated the slate accused NewBU of saying, “Students do not have rights.” The SEC awarded 50 violation points for that particular complaint, as, according to the complaint findings, “it is false information intended to discredit another campaign.”
Three of the six complaints against Clean Slate were directed at Noor Turaif, who recently graduated from BU. One complaint stated that Turaif violated campaign code because she ran Clean Slate’s Instagram account while she was no longer a BU student or a registered campaign staffer. Clean Slate received 30 violation points from the complaint.
Clean Slate’s VP of finance candidate, Hanaan Yazdi, said many complaints are filed against Turaif because of her passion and involvement with SG.
“People [who] personally have problems with [Turaif] are upset that she is still involved with student government issues,” said Yazdi, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. “Students are involved with tons of different things, even after they leave campus. She’s a part of the BU community, and we really appreciate her support.”
Clean Slate received another 30 violation points for having another unregistered staff, Abdulla Shipster, a non-affiliate, working for the campaign.
Out of the three complaints NewBU received, one resulted in 100 violation points. The complaint was then appealed and had been tabled by the SEC “until the end of voting period pending further evidence to be presented by the accused slate,” stated as the findings of the appeal.
The complaint stated that NewBU violated policies from the university handbook for putting out flyers around Myles Standish Hall. However, members of NewBU appealed the SEC’s decision and said they had contacted the residence hall director at Myles and had received permission to hang the flyers.
Nadia Asif, NewBU’s presidential candidate, said an unknown student ripped the flyers apart.
“My flyers were being ripped off in a rather violent manner, and it wasn’t because of the RAs,” said Asif, a sophomore in ENG. “It was someone going around and ripping up our flyers. We are actually going to be going through security footage to see who did this.”