Asfahani breaches campaigning rules

Sam Asfahani, a candidate running for the YUSU position of York Sport President, has been banned from campaigning between 1pm and 4pm tomorrow as he has breached election guidelines

Sam Asfahani, a candidate running for the YUSU position of York Sport President, has been banned from campaigning between 1pm and 4pm tomorrow after it emerged today that his campaign had breached the strict election guidelines.

In an email sent by Sam Clitheroe to the whole University football club mailing list, Asfahani was described as “a massive football fan” who “is really keen to make sure the club keeps its position at the forefront of York sport… this all sounds very promising.” The email then encouraged recipients to “bear this in mind when you go to vote, it is vital for UYAFC that the right person gets elected.”

This explicitly goes against rule number 12 of the YUSU election regulations, which states: “Mass emailing is not allowed; candidates may only email people who have previously explicitly agreed to receive communications.”

In response to the allegation, Asfahani stated: “Clitheroe is not actually a member of my campaign team so I did not authorise, or know about the email until after it was sent. Since finding out about it, I have contacted Sam and made sure he sent a follow up email outlining Rob’s policies and with links to his Facebook group to make sure it is fair and equal”.

He continued to say: “This sort of publicity is flattering but not necessary, I don’t feel the need to resort to unfair tactics – it’s not the sort of campaign I intend to run”.

11 comments

  1. Ouch….

    some Nouse writer on the Football mailing list is a bot of a grass eh?

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  2. Or they’re reporting on the punishment which means that they first reported after YUSU had sorted it… if it was a Nouse writer, they would have reported it as soon as they got the mass email?

    I still feel sorry for people who are penalised for things that others do without their knowledge… The punishment is supposed to correct the positive attention that the individual got but it is still out of their control. Tom Scott highlighted it but I’m not sure how it could be fixed – hopefully it hasn’t harmed either candidate. Both were tight in hustings and this shouldn’t be a major factor.

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  3. I’m a big Asfahani fan and I firmly believe that he wouldn’t have orchestrated any breach of electoral rules. I also agree with Jason that it’s tough when rules are broken on a candidates behalf, especially since Sam asked for a follow up email with Newtons policies which isn’t actually required and is very admirable. Perhaps it should even be a mitigating factor in the punishment, especially because tomorrow will be the last big day or campaigning.

    All in all it’s a big shame and I hope Newton doesn’t feel hard done by, any chance of getting a comment from him on the issue?

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  4. My comment in the article is how I feel about the issue. Although I didn’t know about the email it is still a breach in rules and therefore the unfair advantage must be corrected.

    Thanks Jason and Oli for the comments, I think im gonna take the three hours to work on that degree we forget about during elections!!

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  5. Sam’s been a quality guy to campaign with this week and I know that he wouldn’t have wanted or needed to resort to underhand tactics. Hopefully the 3 hours shouldn’t make too much difference to his campaign and we can get back on it afterwards.

    It was frustrating to have such a one-sided email sent to a big and influential club, and as a massive football fan myself with a different method for acquiring the 3G pitch I appreciate the offer from Sam to send out an email myself.

    I think its going to be a really close race, as evident at Hustings last night, and whatever the outcome YS is going to be in good hands.

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  6. Are sports club presidents not allowed to specifically outline to their members who their favoured candidate is? After all, the candidates are interviewed by sports club presidents are they not?

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  7. 4 Mar ’10 at 5:13 pm

    Andrew Heppel

    I think that this article is not accurately represented by a poor title. To present that Sam has breached the campaign rules, to then later explain that this was done indirectly by someone else, without his knowledge, and failing to reflect his efforts to redress the balance of fairness by urging Rob Newton’s campaign be outlined as well in the headline, does Sam an injustice. People who simply glance at the headline without selecting the link may now be discouraged for voting for Sam which may be the underlying aim of the headline highlighting bias from a source which should remain unbias. I would hope for the sake of fairness that some sort of alteration be made to prevent any further hindrance to Sam’s campaign.

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  8. 4 Mar ’10 at 5:19 pm

    A Sports President

    No, neither candidate has at any point come to speak to my club about their plans.

    Just to see what happens, I won’t tell them which club :)

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  9. 4 Mar ’10 at 7:03 pm

    Firing squad

    This is NOT the candidates fault. Bring Sam Clitheroe to me NOW

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  10. 4 Mar ’10 at 11:26 pm

    Another Sport's President

    Newton’s been to a couple of different club’s training sessions this week… and told me he’s planning on visiting as many as possible over the next few days. So hopefully he’ll get to visit and talk to / listen to your club A Sports President!

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  11. 5 Mar ’10 at 12:27 am

    Yet another Sport's President

    Sam has been to our club committee meeting and I know for a fact has attended other clubs training sessions, either in person or by sending his head campaigners. To be fair – there are 59 clubs in York Sport, both candidates only have so much time this week and so its realistic that they will only be able to visit a few!!!

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