Judicial Board rules against Bruins United for online campaigning violation
April 27, 2015 6:12 pm
The undergraduate student government Judicial Board ruled Monday that the Bruins United slate violated online campaigning rules last week, after the slate appealed an Election Board sanction.
The Undergraduate Students Association Council Election Board sanctioned Bruins United and LET’S ACT! candidates on April 17 for posting cover photos it considered promotional on Facebook earlier in the week. The Bruins United photos featured candidates with facts about them and included one of the slate’s commonly used slogans, “Be You,” before online campaigning was scheduled to begin.
The sanction blocked the slates from online campaigning for two days.
Bruins United campaign manager Zoe Sheppard, a fourth-year international development studies student, filed a petition April 21 alleging that slate members did not violate the code and that in previous years candidates posted similar posts on social media without being sanctioned. The Bruins United petition also said the complaint was not filed within a 24-hour window following the alleged misconduct.
The Judicial Board voted 4-1-0 in favor of the Election Board’s decision to sanction the slate.
Sheppard said Bruins United is not surprised the Judicial Board didn’t rule in its favor, and that the slate’s goal was to prompt the Election Board to start making more explicit rules for what constitutes campaigning.
“We knew that nothing was going to happen this year,” she said. “The term of campaigning is broad, and we were looking to narrow it down.”
Election Board Chair Shagun Kabra said he approves of the Judicial Board’s decision and he thinks it will help the Election Board enforce the Election Code in the future.
“It is our job to make sure elections are run fairly,” he said.
The Judicial Board held a hearing on the case Thursday, and plans to release its full opinion within two weeks. Judicial Board Chief Justice Matt Satyadi, a third-year sociology student, said he could not comment further until the full decision was released.
Compiled by Roberto Luna Jr., Bruin contributor.