April 27, 2004

SG sanctions unfair

The recent sanctions imposed on This Charming Slate by the Student Government's Election and Rules Committee (ERC) are troublesome for multiple reasons. The sanctions are a response to Mustafa Domanic's comments in the April 13 edition of the Maroon, after a reporter asked him to speak about SG's funding practices. In the article he is identified as a presidential candidate —a fact confirmed not by him but by petitions to validate his slate's candidacy that were widely distributed, as required by SG rules.

By considering Domanic's comments as an advertisement, the ERC is unfairly penalizing This Charming Slate. The ERC should not be so hasty to equate speaking to a reporter with advertising, especially when the quotes are not about the upcoming election. The ERC penalized the slate by making a direct calculation of newspaper advertisement costs ($50)—a gross over-penalization, especially given that slates' budgets are so slim to begin with ($150).

We applaud the ERC's effort to introduce and enforce reasonable rules for the SG elections, and we understand the importance of keeping campus from turning into a garbage dump of neon posters. But the ERC would be wise to think about advertising in more broad terms. Each slate is required to gather upwards of one hundred signatures to be placed on the ballot—effectively advertising as petitions circulate around campus. In the end, the ERC has defeated itself; by making such an unfair decision, it has in effect granted This Charming Slate further coverage in the Maroon.