Image courtesy of Huddersfield SU

The slate “Diversity” has been the focus of some election troubles today, T’HUD have learned. With the SU election campaign in full swing and nearing its close this is a vital time for candidates of all persuasions to get their message across to the students of Huddersfield, but news has come in that the slate in question has received a sanction on campaigning.

An official statement has been released by the incumbent VP for Comms & Engagement, George Gill, regarding the malpractice of the slate. “The Student Union has received a number of complaints. The deputy returning officer has chosen to uphold several of them and has given out two formal warnings and one sanction.” The SU is not allowed to give out information regarding the specifics of a sanction – however the acknowledgement that the slate have been reprimanded is a blow to the candidates.

An anonymous source suggested that Diversity have had a number of complaints about alleged “badgering or forcing people to vote”. This is a clear violation of the election rules regarding the practice of campaigning. The Election Rules & Regulations and Union Constitution (which can be read at huddersfield.su/vote) state that:

7.1 – All candidates must conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the values of the Students’ Union, our equal opportunities policy, and the code of conduct of the University.

Clearly the use of force and excessive pestering of the voters is prohibited by this rule, and allegations suggest the slate have not been paying it much attention. Another anonymous allegation suggested that Diversity members had been taking the log on information of students around campus and voting for their representatives on their behalves, using the iPad voting technology. This is more specifically against the Election rules:

2.3 – Candidates and members of their campaign team must allow voters the opportunity to cast their vote in private, and under no circumstances must votes be cast on a voter’s behalf.

Tanya Fozzard, candidate for President running with the slate Action, had this to say regarding the allegations. “We don’t think it’s fair for people to be forced into voting for something they know nothing about (…) Vote for good policies and good candidates, not friends and peer pressure.” Impact declined to comment on the situation for now.

Diversity’s own candidate for VP Comms & Engagement, Emma Denny released this comment to us. “Of course I am gutted by the suspension, but the rules are there for a reason. We just need to work even harder today and promote our manifestos! I am going to be talking to as many students as possible and just enjoying the final day of elections.” The candidate for President even refused to admit sanctions had taken place, not a good reflection of the ethic of the slate for the future.

With the new ability to change your vote this year, Diversity may face trouble from disgruntled voters. Join us tonight at 7:30 at The Warehouse, where we will find out who our elected representatives are. The only question is: can Diversity hold on to their positions, or is this a step too far?

Remember there’s only one hour left to cast (or change) your vote – make it count.

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