The Joint Elections Committee fined Student Association executive vice presidential candidate Derek Grosso 35 points this weekend after he distributed campaign material before Saturday’s men’s basketball game against Xavier.
Candidates are fined for violations of JEC rules. If a candidate amasses 50 points, the JEC, which oversees SA, Program Board and Marvin Center Governing Board elections, will not certify the candidate as a winner.
Grosso’s campaign was fined for three separate violations: distributing material that had not been approved by the JEC, palmcarding before the designated time period and distributing campaign materials in the Smith Center.
Grosso said he plans to appeal the fines based on new evidence. Grosso maintains that although the actual flier was not approved by the JEC, then-JEC Chair Kevin Burkett approved “the concept” of the flier. Grosso said he thought he could get the actual flier approved at a hearing later in the day.
Grosso maintains the fliers were distributed outside of the Smith Center, not within. It is a violation of JEC rules to distribute campaign materials within the Smith Center.
Grosso said one member of his campaign staff was accused of distributing material in the Smith Center. Grosso said he thinks it was unfair that no one told him in advance that someone would testify against his supporter. He said he was at a disadvantage because the supporter was not present at the hearing to testify in his defense.
“He told me he didn’t do it and I believe it,” Grosso said. Grosso also maintains that having his campaign staffers pass out fliers in front of the Smith Center did not constitute palmcarding because they were asking people if they wanted the information, not simply handing it out.
“Three JEC members walked past them (outside) and none of them said anything about it,” Grosso said. “I stressed the fact that we can’t break the rules. I know my campaign workers aren’t stupid. There were 2,000 students at the game on Saturday. Why would we blatantly violate the rules like that?”