Grow-Vicens slate suspended for 12 hours from ASG presidential election


Daily file illustration by Emma Ruck

The voting period for the Associated Student Government presidential election will run from 7 p.m. Thursday to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Maia Pandey, Campus Editor

An Associated Student Government presidential slate composed of Weinberg junior David Grow and Weinberg sophomore Camila Vicens had its campaign suspended for 12 hours from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning due to a violation of ASG election policy.

The candidates promoted a private Instagram account under Grow’s name during the pre-campaigning period, and then re-branded that page as the campaign account, Quest+ Senator and election commission chair Jo Scaletty told The Daily. ASG election policy bars presidential slates from campaigning outside of a fixed period, which began at 7 p.m. April 9 and ends 7 p.m. Saturday.

Throughout the pre-campaigning period, when slates are still collecting signatures necessary to join the ballot, candidates are not allowed to formally campaign or explicitly declare their candidacy — which includes establishing social media pages.

According to screenshots sent to the election commission, the slate turned the personal account into a formal campaign account after making the ballot, Scaletty said.

“The campaigning Instagram … didn’t start from zero,”  the Communication junior said. “It started with people who had come onto that personal Instagram, either at another time or during the pre-campaigning period as (the candidates) advertised. It was a violation of the rules.”

After receiving the screenshots midday Sunday, Scaletty said the election commission met and voted to issue a strike against the campaign and require that it delete the Instagram account and incur a 12-hour suspension to campaigning after taking down the account. Scaletty said the account was taken down when they checked at 4 p.m. Sunday, so the strike extended until 4 a.m. Monday.

The Grow-Vicens slate is squaring off against Campus Life Chair and Weinberg junior Jason Hegelmeyer and Chief of Staff and SESP sophomore Donovan Cusick in the presidential election. The candidates will participate in a moderated debate Tuesday evening, ahead of the official voting period from 7 p.m. Thursday to 7 p.m. Saturday. 

Grow told The Daily the slate was not aware that re-branding his personal account as the campaign page was a violation of policy. He promoted both his own and Vicens’ personal accounts during the campaigning period as an outlet for students to learn more about them, Grow said.

“We didn’t mean to break any rules and still don’t think we did, but obviously (the election commission) disagrees with that,” Grow said. “But for the most part, (the suspension) was done on Sunday. We weren’t really doing anything on Sunday anyway, so we’re just going to hit the ground running.”

If the slate receives two more strikes, they will be removed from the ballot, as per ASG policy.

Scaletty said the election commission met swiftly after the violation to vote on further action. Any community members who notice a campaign violation are encouraged to report it to the commission, they added.

“We take things like this very seriously,” Scaletty said. “It’s very important to us that this election is completely fair, and so we don’t foresee any changes in the way that we have been moderating it.”

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Twitter: @maiapandey

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