UVUSA campaign candidate violates election rules
In any political campaign, like the student government elections, getting your name out is essential. So essential, in fact, that in order to level the playing field, rules exist as part of the student government bylaws to dictate when and how parties can spread the word about their campaign.
Unfortunately one incumbent team vying for office broke these rules with a Facebook-advertised, unsanctioned party at which they disclosed to a group of between 50 and 75 people details about their campaign.
Held at the Provo Beach Resort, the “2012-2013 Student Body Officer Team Election Party” created on Facebook by Daniel Diaz, Adam Price and David Millet offered “free pizza and live music by Moneypenny,” as well as discounted bowling. The event details invited those with access to the event to “come learn about next year’s candidates, team name, and platform.”
A representative from Provo Beach Resort confirmed that the party organizers “definitely did little speeches,” saying that “at least three” people spoke from the stage area to the wrist-banded attendees of the event.
According to sources at the resort and close to the band, costs for the event totaled at least $455, plus the cost of pizza for the estimated 50-75 people who attended. Candidates and donors spending money on campaign events is just fine, according to the bylaws, but there are certain restrictions.
Rule five of the UVUSA campaign rules says that “a limit of $200 personal or donated money per candidate may be used,” but that’s only when the Elections Committee approves the event.
And according to Director of Student Activities Rebekah Grulich and faculty advisor to the committee, no events were approved yet this year.
In addition to rule five, the incumbents broke rule nine, which says to “avoid anything that may appear as campaigning and ensure that no sites are live prior to February 27th,” and rule 11 which prohibits campaign teams or candidates from using the phrase “UVUSA” in “any printed publicity or electronic communication.”
Since the bylaws only ambiguously state the punishment for violations, saying infractions “will result in severe penalties to be determined by the Elections Committee,” Grulich was consulted. After being involved in student elections for about 20 years, she knows better than most anybody the ins and outs of the campaign process.
“It kind of depends on how the Elections Committee feels the severity of the violation is,” Grulich said. “We want to make sure that the Elections Committee isn’t intervening with their potential to run.”
The typical penalty that teams take, Grulich explained, is a “ding” out of their time to campaign in the hallway during the three-day campaign window on campus. A similar infraction about five years ago cost an election team who threw a party two hours of campaign time. Since the campaign time is so short and since voter turnout is typically between two and 14 percent, Grulich said she considers this length of a penalty to be severe.
The length of the penalty, though, is not really up to Grulich. Each of the four students, one staff and two faculty on the committee get to say what they think the penalty should be.
“It’s always intriguing to me to see when you get that many opinions in what comes back,” Grulich said. “It’s usually pretty reasonable.”
Reasonable or not, the campaign rules and what Grulich said indicate that the incumbent team will indeed have to face repercussions from their violation.
(UVUSA campaign bylaws: http://www.uvu.edu/
By Jeff Jacobsen
Online Content Manager
*Additional reporting done by Jarom Moore, Andrea Whatcott, Kelly Cannon, John-Ross Boyce, Gilbert Cisneros, Faith Heaton and Jonathan Boldt.
36 thoughts on “UVUSA campaign candidate violates election rules”
What is most troubling about this rule violation is that it is the incumbent team that is breaking the rules. David Millet is the current Vice President of Student Academics; he has participated in this election process before. It’s a not-so-subtle spit in the face of the election committee and the other teams running.
This breach of campaign policy displays the current flaw with the election process here at UVU. When an incumbent team who knows how to exploit the system can further their entitlement for the presidential office and is answered with slaps on the wrist, it shows the students body and those running how little policy and, by extension, their votes actually matter.
With the embarrassing ease that David got into his current position and the ineffectual way Team Innovate has represented the student body this year, this voter will not be handing him the presidency.
I believe on of the most malicious violations here is the blatant misinformation posted on the Facebook page,”come learn all about next year’s candidates, team name, and platform.” While discussing all of those electronically before Feb 27th (let alone verbally before March 3rd) is against the rules, the page would make the reader believe that all candidates running and teams would be represented. Obviously that wasn’t the case.
Furthermore, at the end of the advertisement for the event it says “Come be a part of what could be the best UVUSA year event!”
This event, which was not sanctioned by the elections committee, let alone the UVUSA, is a clear abuse, by David Millet, as a representative of UVUSA and furthermore communicates a clear sense of entitlement.
This was not a UVUSA event and to imply that is it would represent that the team David is running with is supported…
A two-hour deduction in campaign time? That is a joke. Do we really want anyone who has exhibited this sort of corrupt behavior to even HAVE A CHANCE at winning the study body elections?? I say NO!! We should all be visiting those in charge of the elections to let them know— we want them out of the picture.
I am shocked at how wrong the information in this article is. I am sure it is easy to sit here and write everything wrong with UVUSA but until you have worked with us and stood in the hallways day after day trying to get students engaged without luck, I have a hard time being sympathetic to those who have commented. For those who don’t know there have been multiple meetings for those interested in running for a Student Body Officer position. I have sat in those meetings where they outline everything everyone needs to know in order to run. Everything even the incumbents know. If any of you have further questions, please come talk to me or anyone in the UVUSA. We would be pleased to hear from you. I, as many others, have much more to say on this topic. Thanks!
I was also present for not multiple, but the one and only required meeting for all candidates running for student government. In that meeting, the rules were laid out for the teams running and they are expected to know them and follow them “in an ethical and honest way throughout the entire campaign process.” The troubling thing is that the incumbent team, a team which should already be familiar with the rules, blatantly broke at least three of them. The election packet is online for anyone who wants to review the rules broken.
Furthermore, this wasn’t a UVUSA sanctioned event, and the wording from the Facebook page misrepresents that fact.
I, in turn, am shocked that an incumbent team and current members of UVUSA would have such a disregard for rules created to engender fairness. The posters above may not require sympathy Meagan, but perhaps instead, an apology.
Meagan, as a soon-to-be graduate, I genuinely appreciate the efforts of the UVUSA in trying to get the students engaged in campus life and the somewhat lighter aspects of campus politics. But you have failed to address the issues contained in the article. The UVUSA’s good intentions throughout the school year are not the question here. What is in question is the campaign rule violations of incumbent candidates. No matter the merits of their former labors (which vary, depending on whom you ask), these individuals held an unapproved campaign event with the implied sponsorship of the UVUSA, well before campaigning was permitted.
The fact that you responded to this article in defense of the UVUSA corroborates the crux of the article, driving home even deeper the point that the campaigners unethically claimed the backing of the current student government. Further, your assertion that…
they were aware of the campaign rules is incredibly damming. The incumbents’ knowledge and subsequent flaunting of the rules serves to highlight their sense of entitlement for the positions they seek, their sense that they are above rules designed to level a playing field already slanted in their favor.
I so agree with your comment! Well said!
As an activist, who dedicates hours each week to social/economic/political justice, I have a hard time being sympathetic to your plight to “get students engaged” when you defend individuals in student government who clearly do not have the interests of their constituency in the forefront of their minds. I refuse to be “engaged” in a corrupt system unless it is to put an end to corruption. As Emma said, you have failed to address the issues. All you have done is further incriminate those involved by emphasizing that they knew the rules and proceeded to violate them at the expense of democracy.
Another attempt to discredit that hand that feeds the UVU Review. If the team really had violated rules, wouldn’t a penalty have been levied? It’s been almost 3 months since this event and the only rule infraction to be enforced was the misuse of the UVUSA logo. What this is an attempt of another team to slander the name of this party. If you can publish the names of the Facebook page creators, at least publish the name of the “sources.” I know one person that was in attendance at the party that would have a reason to blow the whistle for this “infraction.” If you are going to try and be credible, at least talk to the people who committed the violations as well as publish the other source. For all we know the source was some 16 year old, acne ridden kid working at Provo Resort. If you publish this as “news” at least try and be objective. They would be more than willing to speak…
Travis, the event was scheduled for January 12, 2012, not three months ago. I would refer you to the facebook event page at http://www.facebook.com/events/198576963570952/?ref=nf
Emma, regardless the team has not been penalized which already refutes this biased article.
That they have not been penalized refutes nothing. It could mean that A)Some of Millet’s UVUSA colleagues belong to the election committee and may be hesitant to penalize their friend (whether or not this is actually the case is not my call, but it does bring up reasonable questions about the group’s capacity for impartiality), or B) penalties are pending, as the faculty adviser’s statements strongly suggest.
After having carefully read the campaign packet, I see no gray area where the alleged violations do not, in fact, qualify as actual violations. The present absence of penalty for this team only means that the system is broken.
“Another attempt to discredit that hand that feeds the UVU Review.” It is not UVUSA’s charity that maintains the UVU Review, it is an ethical and democratic obligation that the UVU Review, aka THE STUDENT VOICE, be maintained. Let me remind you, that UVUSA is meant to work in the interest of the students. “If the team really had violated rules, wouldn’t a penalty have been levied?” No, as the article states, a similar infraction incurred only a two-hour deduction in campaign time. The individuals are already part of the system and are presumptuous enough to feel free to break the rules, putting every other team (if there are other teams this year, glad we support democracy at UVU) at a clear disadvantage, in effect limiting the student voice.
The thing is, they have not been penalized. This whole article is hearsay. They have not been deducted any campaign time. Also, to make the paper out to be some body bent out to voice the student opinion is naive as well. UVUSA works with the students much more than what 15-20 student’s writing for the paper does.
The UVU Review is an independent, completely student run newspaper. It provides an open forum for students, all students, to voice their opinions. To stifle its publication is to stifle the voices of the UVU student body, who are meant to be represented by UVUSA. To say that UVUSA is the hand that feeds the UVU Review, as in, to say that by allocating money to their budget etc. is some kind of favor rather than a democratic obligation, is arrogant nonsense. UVUSA exists to work for the students, not the other way around.
Travis, let me help you out:
unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one’s direct knowledge: I pay no attention to hearsay.
an item of idle or unverified information or gossip; rumor: a malicious hearsay.
of, pertaining to, or characterized by hearsay: hearsay knowledge; a hearsay report.
Now then, visit the event page here and you’ll see:
“Come Learn all about next year’s candidates, team name, and platform. Support UVU and the improvements that are coming for next year. Free Pizza and Live Music by MONEYPENNY!! from 9-10pm. Bowling from 8 to 9pm just 2.50 per person! Come be a part of what could be the best UVUSA year ever!”
Now read the rules in the elections packet:
Rule #9 “…on February 27th you may utilize electronic materials (websites, social network’s, etc). No verbal campaigning is allowed during this time. You are responsible for all information posted on-line. Be cautious of pre-campaigning!! Avoid anything that may appear as campaigning and ensure that no sites are live prior to February 27th.”
Rule #11 “Candidates and Campaign Teams are not permitted to use the phrase “UVUSA” or Utah Valley University Student Association in any printed publicity or electronic communication.”
Rule #20 “You must not ask individuals to vote for you or solicit votes in any other way prior to March 3rd (except as described in #9 above)… Be cautious when using social media to communicate with your campaign committee, comments made on social media sites could be construed as pre-campaigning. You are responsible for all individuals who are helping with your campaign. These individuals are accountable for the same rules and obligations that you are, so share the information in this packet with them and instruct them well! Your team will be penalized for any violations your campaign committee may commit.”
You seem to be stuck on the idea that because no punishments were handed out, then the article must be hearsay. If I were to rob a bank and somehow elude punishment, then following your logic, any assertions that I robbed a bank would be pure heresay.
If you can’t directly quote any of the candidates soliciting votes than this is hearsay. I’m sorry, but them having a party together to “Come Learn all about next year’s candidates, team name, and platform. Support UVU and the improvements that are coming for next year” doesn’t prove anything. Yes it doesn’t look good, but it also doesn’t prove guilt either. But you wouldn’t want to report that in the paper, because you would be in dangerous territory of possibly being honest and objective (two characteristics that are never found in the UVU Review)…
Millet’s team should have known better, being the incumbent team. (And I’m sure they did.) I think they do need to be penalized, even though I’m one of the 85 + percent who won’t be voting.
Sounds like these guys are learning how to game the system, and well on their way to becoming politicians, in every negative sense of the word.
By the way, I’m really not sure we ought to have incumbents in college. One term, you’re out. Give another group the opportunity for scholarships, etc…
I would love to sit down with any one of you and tell you exactly how me and my team did not break any rules and how the elections committee also agrees with this. I feel that it is unfortunate that the UVU Review did not do the proper research to find this out themselves.
I would love the opportunity to let each and every one of you meet with me personally to find out who I really am, and how much I really love UVU. Me and my team are honest, responsible individuals that love UVU and want to make it its best for all students. Please feel free to stop by and learn who I am and what I stand for, rather than forming an opinion from a unresearched and inaccurate article.
Even if “unresearched” was a word, I wouldn’t apply that term to this article. Looks like they researched plenty, and reported fairly and accurately on the results of their research.
Whether or not you agree with the article is another matter. But don’t call it “unresearched”.
the drama here is so much better than teen mom.
This article is very disturbing to me i know that david and his team have chosen to run for office and by doing so have made them selves subject to this kind of criticism but it bothers me that you would attack them in this way without an attempt to meet them and take measure of their character i think you should take a step back from your ideas of you as this big time journalist and realize these are real people that you are talking about and take some time to see who you are demonizing because i know each one of them personally and i know that they are good hard working honest people that love uvu and are trying to help this school anyway they can and i would hope that you and this paper would not be so morally bankrupt that you would make a habit of publishing things like this that is here to simply attract attention but is not based in fact and that hurts real peoples reputations
Moral bankruptcy is only found in a newspaper that fails to report the facts, not one which refuses to gloss over them.
I’m sure the members of the party are very nice, but between even the most casual perusal of the elections handbook and the research of the article’s author, it is clear that they violated the rules. It is the student body’s right to have the information they need to cast an educated vote, and to decide if these violations will have any wider implications for how their funds will be handled by next year’s UVUSA.
But Emma, you are missing the point that none of these “facts” have been proved. Newspapers lose credibility when untrue things are printed.When I see an article like this being printed as news, also covered above the fold, is mere propaganda against the team rather than news.
I honestly don’t see where this coverage crosses the line into hearsay. It seems to me an objective fact that this event was held, yet another that it was held against campaigning rules, another that those organizing the event claimed the sponsorship of the UVUSA, and yet another that the faculty adviser is being consulted about the appropriate disciplinary action.
If you see a point where any of these items becomes speculation or pure fiction, please let me know. I am genuinely curious to see a perspective I might not have grasped.
Millet, why don’t you just answer the questions on this forum? If you encourage people to come “sit down” with you, that might be considered campaigning and it isn’t the 27th yet.
1. Did you advertise on Facebook, “come learn about next year’s candidates, team name, and platform.”?
2. Did you or any of your people spend more than $200 of your personal money on food or entertainment?
3. Did you guys give little speeches at the party or did you campaign before Feb 27th?
4. Did the elections committee aprove of your party in advance?
5. Are you an English Major?
I am ashamed to be a part of such a disgusting group of individuals I expect this BULL from politicians but my fellow UVU associates? I know the candidates you are treating with such disrespect and you are TRULY mistaken and I hope you are ashamed. They did not go behind anyone’s back They did not break ANY rules look into it =D. You formulated an opinion without even talking with them to see how much they care about UVU. If you were to spend just a few minutes with them you would be able to tell how much passion they have for this school. They have been busting their behinds off for YOU for the past 6 months and they deserve a little more respect, shame on you. A team that has worked this hard would not take a chance in ruining it over a little so called “campaign party.” If your opinions are a load of bunk please keep them to yourself, or go get the facts and rewrite your opinion.
I don’t believe this article ever questioned how much the candidates love and care about UVU. Furthermore, it doesn’t appear as if the article questions how hard the candidates have been working.
Lastly, the article isn’t an opinion piece. These are hard facts. Rules were broken. I don’t understand why people are denying that.
I didn’t find the article disrespectful at all. The paper was just fulfilling their journalistic responsibility by reporting it.
The Rules weren’t broken, and these are not facts, it turned into an opinion when there were no longer facts involved. I suggest you go to the uvusa office and find out what you believe to be true isn’t(speak to the right people instead of your choice of sources aka provo beach resort). Speaking from an outside student who knows the student goverment would like to say that they are amazing people who work their butts off for all of you and I think they deserve an apology. They do not have to do any of this but they work hard to make UVU a better place for you. Thanks.
How dare you insinuate that the people at the Provo Beach Resort aren’t credible sources! They are working their butts off to make Provo a better place, and I think they deserve an apology from you.
They didn’t have to open a beach resort in Provo, but they did it for you.
Does this mean that Director of Student Activities Rebekah Grulich isn’t credible either? You may have noticed that a lot of the source material for this article came from her. Go apologize to her while you’re at it.
While Beka Grulich is clearly a credible source, she wasn’t being asked questions in her interview about this specific incident. The dishonest reporting of the paper clearly insinuates that she is when in fact she was making general statements about what would happen if an individual or team did break the rules. Unfortunately for the students of UVU, honest reporting doesn’t happen at the UVU Review. They are too busy trying to invent news that they miss actual stories that matter to us students…
If she feels like she was misrepresented in this article then I would love to see an official response from her. In fact, I look forward to a response from both the UVU Review and UVUSA. Not that it will matter, because people will still support their favorite, no matter how damning the evidence.
I’m still bothered that so many people are calling this dishonest and “invented news”. I have read the campaign rules, and the team clearly violated several of them. And yet I keep hearing over and over in these comments things like “this article is dishonest!” and “they didn’t break any rules!” Would somebody please provide a clear explanation as to why you don’t think they broke any rules? Because according to this article and the clear evidence provided, they did.
Furthermore, I think articles like this matter to us students more than anything. What “actual stories” do you…
(contd.)… refer to?