Levene, Powell and Rose suspended from campaigning

An email sent by 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

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.”

18 comments

  1. I can’t believe they’re getting punished for things beyond their control. If I send out a mass email to the 2 societies I have access to the mailing list to endorsing all the candidates, will they all get banned from campaigning?

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  2. To further express the sentiment of the article – that the bans are unjustifiable – maybe you should change the name of the article to something that better reflects this. People just browsing the site might get the impression that these candidates did something wrong, when they clearly haven’t. The criticism should be more obviously directed at the returning officer.

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  3. 9 Mar ’10 at 2:30 am

    A. Politician

    These online campaigning restrictions are idiotic. Campaigning has moved forward with technology, the rules haven’t.

    This happens every year where returning officers choose to be over zealous and impose sanctions where clearly discretion could’ve been used.

    Yet another reason why student politics looks so bloody stupid to most people. You wouldn’t hear of Gordon Brown being told to stop campaigning because he sent people an email.

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  4. Thanks Brazil. However whilst the events were completely out of our control and the punishments are frustrating, the Returning Officer is simply following a well-established precedent and I don’t think the blame is with him but rather with an election system that should have undergone a full review last term but didn’t.

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  5. 9 Mar ’10 at 9:33 am

    Politically Neutral

    A ridiculous ban for Powell and Levene! How many people are even on this e-mail list?

    Writing that they “seem good” compared to the other candidates is hardly an overwhelming endorsement which justifies suspension.

    I don’t agree that campaigning via society e-mail lists should be allowed (e.g. Grants message down the rugby list), however in such an obvious case of a student not fully understanding the campaign rules and sending such an innocuous e-mail, it merely points out that the election rules need to be seriously reviewed.

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  6. They’re not being punished. This is simply giving the other candidates a chance to “catch up” after the banned candidates got some free exposure.

    Sure, it sucks and the boys are not going to be enjoying this afternoon, but I wish people would stop seeing it as punishment. It’s just redressing the balance.

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  7. A much bigger issue is Rhianna Kinchin’s attack on Nick Scarlett in today’s Vision. I’m not one of his campaigners, but I think it’s ridiculous and grossly unfair that anyone, never mind a current sabb, is allowed to single out a candidate and attack their policies alone. This contradicts election reporting rules in which equal consideration must be given to each candidate. Bearing in mind Kinchin’s position of responsibility and the fact that she is criticising (and naming) exclusively one candidate, action SURELY must be taken.

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  8. 9 Mar ’10 at 11:30 am

    General Alexander

    Surely this reporting on Nouse COMPLETELY contradicts the idea of a ban?

    Now not only do the three people on the Veggie Society e-mail list know that Rose is supported by their Chair, but the whole of the Nouse readership does too!

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  9. I just received this from Jason Rose as a member of the save our Porters campaign:Hey guys,

    As well as the (hopefully obvious) YUSU elections, there are several important UGMs going on. Voting for these motions takes place at http://www.yusu.org/democracy/voting and among the motions are two portering motions and several others linked to them. Read the motions carefully and make sure you vote!

    Just a reminder; the YUSU elections can be voted on at http://www.yusu.org/vote

    http://www.yusu.org/democracy/voting is a different URL so make sure you take the time to vote in both the elections and the UGM!

    Thankyou in advance,
    YUSU Campaigns – It is signed YUSU campaigns but in the corner it is his display picture which says vote Rose for academic affairs. So disgusting to be using the portering campaign to secure votes. The UGM needs to be publicised but not in this way and regardless of what Jason says he knows full well what he is doing by sending out a message with a picture saying Vote Rose and an encouragement within the messsage to vote in general. He will deny it and will say that he is just trying to increase participation but this is typical desperation from a man that has simply wanted a desk in the YUSU office and nothing more.

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  10. “interested” – if it were a problem, what action could be taken?

    And General Alexander; Nouse has full details of all candidates so I doubt their readership are going to be massively persuaded – at least as likely is the possibility of someone just reading the title and assuming that we cheated..? Either way, the result is probably negligible..?

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  11. 9 Mar ’10 at 3:58 pm

    Johnny Electioneering

    Marina, how is Jason supposed to conduct his role as YUSU Campaigns officer without sending out emails like that?

    The new UGM motion is important to the progression of the campaign, and Jason is right to publicise it.

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  12. 9 Mar ’10 at 5:26 pm

    Dasher Mule Soul

    Stupid ban. Jason isn’t even veggie. It’s just someone’s opinion, IMO.

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  13. 9 Mar ’10 at 5:32 pm

    Christopher Morris

    Vegitarian society causes EPIC POLITICAL SCANDELLL

    THIS IS THE NEWWWSSS

    You could not make this up.
    Tony R

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  14. Maybe you should show
    us your ‘* face’ as promised at hustings Tony? Would that be news?

    RON

    * Comment edited by a moderator

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  15. 9 Mar ’10 at 6:17 pm

    I am Citizen Insane

    @Mariana- A bit of a cynical way of viewing it. I received that same Portering UGM message and it never occurred to me that Rose was using it as a means of garnering more votes by subconsciously encouraging people to vote for him (through his profile picture).

    The new UGM needed to be publicised. Had I not received that message, I’d have forgotten to vote for it. I suppose there is some sense behind the argument that he should have been more careful and changed his profile picture to something more neutral, however I strongly doubt his motives were self-serving.

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  16. How jammy are Vegetarian Soc for news stories this week? Perhaps it will prompt them to actually put their board outside V/045 to some use

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  17. 10 Mar ’10 at 4:43 pm

    (Vote Party Duck!)

    @Marina Hyde

    So there is a tiny picture in the corner under his name? A picture so small you can barely read what it says…

    Big deal. Have you walked around campus recently? The whole place is plastered with posters; you cannot help but see them. Besides, there is no rule which prevents candidates, or supporters from changing their profile pictures to posters endorsing one or more candidates.

    This whole issue is almost as stupid and petty as this: http://www.nouse.co.uk/2010/03/09/candidates-to-be-fined-if-they-break-election-rules/

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