Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) presidential candidates Joi Sullivan (left) and Connor Paquin (right) were each fined $100 after Mustang News published quotes from the candidates or their campaign staffs.
Two of the three Associated Students Inc. (ASI) presidential candidates whose names were released to Mustang News last week have been fined for beginning active campaigning early.
Civil engineering junior Connor Paquin and political science senior Joi Sullivan were both fined $100, Recruitment and Development Chair Cale Reid said.
Paquin talked directly to Mustang News, while campaign worker and political science senior Daniel Wasta spoke about Sullivan.
Agricultural business junior Jake Rogers, the third candidate whose name was released with Paquin’s and Sullivan’s, was not fined because the student who spoke to Mustang News about him is not officially associated with his campaign.
“They all violated policy, but disciplinary action is up to the discretion of the Recruitment and Development Committee,” Reid said.
Computer engineering junior Will Blumhardt, the fourth candidate to declare, has not been fined. But Blumhardt also spoke directly to Mustang News on Tuesday and could still face punishment.
ASI rules allow campaign teams to verbally promote their candidates before active campaigning begins on April 13. Any written promotion, however, is subject to penalty from the Recruitment and Development Committee.
Each candidate paid a $100 filing fee after announcing his or her intent to run as a sort of security deposit, Reid said. If they are not fined during the course of the campaign, the money will be returned.
Allowing candidates to campaign without restrictions would create an unbalanced playing field, Reid said. Current ASI President and agricultural business senior Jason Colombini decided he wanted to run during the first week of his freshman year, and would have had an upper hand on his opponents if he had started early, Reid added.
“The intention of the code and regulations in place is to increase transparency and make elections fairer,” Reid said. “We want to make sure everyone campaigns within the same period.”
Paquin and Sullivan did not immediately return requests for comment.