Volume 95, Issue 78

Wednesday, February 20, 2002
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Western vows to keep promise

USC presidential races gets a little nasty

Drink bucks leave kids hungry

"You're a poopy head" -- "No, you're a poopy head"

Gay community loses its HALO

Disabled students get government cash

News Briefs

USC presidential races gets a little nasty

By Erin Conway-Smith
Gazette Staff

While there were few campaign infractions during this year's University Students' Council presidential elections, allegations by one candidate almost resulted in the disqualification of Chris Sinal.

On Feb. 7, third-year political science student Mike Liebrock was given five demerit points and fined $30 for having campaign posters in an unauthorized place.

Liebrock said posters were put up on boards in the engineering building that were mistakenly thought to have been approved. "People who put [the posters] up thought what they were doing was right," he said.

On Feb. 13, Chris Sinal, a third-year history student, was given five demerit points for having campaign material in an unauthorized area and five more for the unsanctioned use of USC resources.

Though lacking the proper authorization, Sinal said he left a giant, concrete "Sinal seal" overnight in the University Community Centre atrium.

"If it had been left outside, it would have been covered [with snow] and people would have gotten hurt," Sinal said. "We thought it better to take the election fines and maybe save some lives."

The second infraction was a result of Sinal using a USC-owned picture in his campaign material, though the fine was reduced from 15 to five demerit points due to miscommunications with InPrint.

Allegations of campaign violations by Sinal's team were brought to the attention of the elections committee by the Liebrock team, said Jordan Glick, chief returning officer for the USC.

Liebrock said he had been forwarded an internal Sinal team e-mail, indicating Sinal's team had been running their campaign out of the Off-Campus Don's office. Adam Lawrence – an OC don – is Sinal's campaign manager.

As an OC don, Lawrence is allowed to have campaign material within the office as long as it was contained within his own personal belongings, Glick said. Lawrence stepped outside the office in order to distribute materials to his own team members, he added.

"The crux of the issue was whether "Team Sinal" was receiving tangible benefits from Adam Lawrence's position," Glick said. The elections committee decided the allegations were unfounded.

Liebrock said his campaign team was "comfortable" with Glick's decision.

Sinal said had the allegations made by Liebrock's team proved true, the demerit points would have possibly been enough to remove him from the election.

Liebrock said he was aware that if all allegations proved true, Sinal would have been removed from the race.

Glick said the campaign has, on the whole, been clean and he has received minimal complaints. Online voting continues today until 8 p.m. and results will be released at 10 p.m..

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Copyright The Gazette 2002