JEC fines potential SA candidates for ad

The Joint Elections Committee fined potential Student Association candidates Phil Meisner and Cat Sadler for violating campaign rules last week, according to a JEC notice.

Meisner and Sadler, who are running for SA president and executive vice president, respectively, were fined 15 points each for running an advertisement in The GW Hatchet Feb. 1 without JEC approval. The deadline for students to declare candidacy is Feb. 12.

The JEC regulates SA, Program Board and Marvin Center Governing Board elections. JEC members are appointed by each of the three student organizations.

JEC rules state that candidates must submit copies of their campaign materials before they are distributed.

Sadler said she and Meisner were fined for running the ad because they did not submit it before JEC office hours.

“There was absolutely no opportunity for us to submit it before 9 a.m.,” Sadler said.

Meisner could not be reached for comment.

Sadler also was given a written warning for violating JEC rule XIV 4, which designates certain times when door-to-door campaigning in residence halls is permitted. Sadler said she was in Thurston Hall after 11 p.m. with some of her sorority sisters.

“(The JEC) thought it was a gray area,” she said. “I was not campaigning.”

At a JEC meeting Thursday, members and students addressed other campaign issues. Some students said they were confused about why registered student organizations were required to file candidate endorsements with the JEC.

JEC members said the requirement will ensure endorsements are legitimate and candidates do not claim false endorsements.

“It’s more to protect you than it is for us,” JEC member Resha Shah told students and student leaders at the meeting.

“As to whether or not there would be a fine (if endorsements are not reported), probably not,” JEC Chair Kevin Burkett said at the meeting.

Burkett said the JEC plans to publicize false endorsements.

After the meeting, Burkett said the issue of student organizations’ endorsements already has been raised. He would not elaborate.

Other rules addressed during the meeting concerned the distribution of campaign literature. Burkett said palm carding on the Quad will be prohibited this year as a result of student, faculty and administrator complaints about extensive palm carding last year.

“That’s where the biggest complaints came from,” Burkett said. “There are still a lot of places where they can (palm card).”

He said candidates still will be allowed to palm card around Thurston Hall, the Marvin Center and Funger Hall.

The JEC also is prohibiting the use of retail coupons as propaganda material. JEC Vice Chair Jason Miller said it is difficult to assess the market value of the coupons.

“Do we count how many coupons were given out?” he said. “The view was that those coupons were worth money.”

The JEC also plans to grant fewer appeals this year.

“They have to have actual grounds for appeal; they can’t appeal because they don’t like the decision,” Shah said.

“You will see much less this year in the way of appeals,” Burkett said. “Unless we blatantly screw up, then your not going to (win) an appeal.”

The JEC announced dates for this year’s two election debates. The first debate will occur Feb. 22 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and the second will be Feb. 23 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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