Monday, January 27

USAC candidate sanctioned for premature campaigning with Facebook page

The undergraduate student government election board sanctioned a candidate Friday for prematurely creating a Facebook page about her campaign.

The board determined that Sayron Stokes, an independent candidate running for the transfer student representative position, violated conduct regulations by creating a page called “Sayron Stokes for UCLA USAC Transfer Representative” before social media campaigning was allowed.

Social media campaigning officially began Monday, and Stokes created the page last week. The election board ruled that Stokes had to delete her page by 9 a.m. April 15 and cannot campaign on social media for 30 minutes Tuesday.

This is the second campaign sanction of the year. On April 8, three candidates received the first sanction after being tagged in another student’s Facebook post.

The election board is responsible for overseeing spring Undergraduate Students Association Council elections and enforcing the election code’s regulations. The code defines “social media campaigning” as posts or messages that are associated with candidates or slates and could influence any voter’s decisions.

If the board finds that any candidate or slate has violated the code’s regulations, it will investigate and then issue a sanction as it deems appropriate.

Stokes said she created the page because she wanted to separate her USAC campaign from her personal life. She said she had been getting many friend requests recently on her personal Facebook profile and wanted to refer those people elsewhere.

She added she did not post anything on the page, which has since been deleted, and had intended to start using it when social media campaigning actually began.

The board said it considered the page’s inactivity when deciding the severity of the sanction.

“The limited extent of (the page) reach and the lack of intentional publicity were accounted for,” the election board said in the sanction notice.

Click here for full coverage of the 2017 USAC elections.

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Campus Politics editor

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