An email sent out by the vegetarian society to all its members has led to Presidential candidates David Levene and Roberto Powell, and Academic Officer candidate Jason Rose, being banned from campaigning from 1pm to 3pm tomorrow.
The email, which explicitly breaks the YUSU campaign rule against mass emails being sent to promote certain candidates, stated: “Jason Rose, the only Union officer who has made an effort on getting various vegetarian and pro-animal policies adopted, is running for a sabbatical post. I’ll certainly be voting for him, and I hope some of you guys will support him as well.”
The message then continued to say: “For the presidency, Levene and Powell seem good, but personally I’m not too sure about any of the others.”
This comes after both candidates running for the position of York Sport President have been penalised this week for being endorsed through mass emails.
In a message to his campaign team Levene stated that the ban was due to a “well-intended but rule-breaking message” which was “sent out by a supporter to a society mailing list”.
In his defence, Levene also stated that the message was sent “without [his] knowledge or consent” and that he would “like to apologise to the other candidates”, saying that he “will, of course, comply fully with the wishes of the returning officer”.
Powell took a similar line, stating: “I had no idea that this message had been sent until I got an email informing me of my campaign ban. I have no connection to vegetarian society and I in no way authorised the sending of the email.” Rose claimed to have been “taken completely by surprise”, stating “I‘m not even on the vegetarian society mailing list and have no connection to them at all.”
During the ban, all candidates will have to hand in all campaigner badges, make their Facebook groups secret and actively stop any other campaigning efforts from themselves or their teams.
In response to the incident, Rose also commented that, “it just shows how much the election system needs reviewing”, stating that “people are unaware of the rules so can easily, yet inadvertently, get candidates punished by trying to help them – the whole thing is a joke.” He continued to say that “it is an issue that needs to be addressed, particularly since it has happened so often this election.”