Candidate says bylaw infraction unintentional; quiz pulled
By Marshall Bellamy
University Students’ Council presidential candidate
Kathy Robineau may have unintentionally broken one of the USC’s
Robineau’s website featured a quiz — which asked
for the visitor’s student number in order to be completed — offering
a draw for a DVD player. The election bylaws prohibit candidates
from soliciting information such as student numbers during
“The intention of asking for the student number was
to have the student number and the e-mail to ensure the visitors
were students,” Robineau said. “There was absolutely,
positively no intent to solicit students.”
She added the website, along with the student number requirement
for the quiz, had been approved by the USC’s chief returning
officer, James Guttman, leading her to assume there was no
problem with requesting that information.
“That was the strange thing; [Guttman] approved the
website in advance,” she said.
According to Robineau, Guttman contacted her Tuesday evening
to inform her the quiz had broken election bylaws. She said
that the quiz was taken off the website shortly thereafter.
“I don’t think there’s going to be any sort
of problem,” Robineau said. “They’re looking
for intent,” she added, indicating that when she goes
before the election committee today, they should take into
account the fact she did not intend to solicit student information.
Robineau maintains that all the information received from
the quizzes has not been revealed and will remain confidential.
Guttman said the election committee will make an assessment
of what has occurred. “We’re looking into the entire
situation,” he said, adding he could not comment further
on the issue.
The election bylaw infraction has elicited reactions from
Robineau’s election rivals.
“I’m sure it was an honest mistake,” said
USC presidential candidate Patrick Harris, adding he could
not see a reason to believe Robineau intentionally broke the
bylaw. He said he hopes the election committee is fair in whatever
decision it makes.
“And I haven’t gone before them, and I’m pleased
about that,” he remarked.
“I feel that if the DVD player was [bought] out of campaign
funds that is a waste of student money,” noted Steve
Learmonth, another candidate for president.
“I have faith the election committee will make a fair
decision. If it’s a strong [decision] that’s all
right, if a weak one does it, that will suffice,” he
“The expectation is that when you go into a election
you understand the election bylaws,” noted candidate
Dave Molenhuis. “Obviously ‘I didn’t know’ is
not an excuse.”
“She has good intentions. It’s unfortunate it’s
against the bylaws, but those are the bylaws,” he added.
“I’m hoping it was an honest mistake and I’d
hate to see her get punished for it,” said presidential
candidate Nick Staubitz.