Campaigning privileges for the Travis-Horan Missouri Students Association presidential slate were revoked Tuesday by MSA’s Board of Elections Commissioners. As another result of the disciplinary action, the Elect Travis-Horan website and Facebook page will no longer be available for view.
Revoked campaigning privileges do not affect the slate's standing on the MSA presidential ballot.
The BEC issued MSA presidential and vice presidential candidates Josh Travis and Michelle Horan an intentional infraction for campaigning through mass e-mails using university accounts, BEC Chairman Jake Sloan said.
A mass e-mail campaigning for Travis-Horan was sent to students enrolled in various MU courses through Blackboard on Monday afternoon.
The e-mail, which was signed “Sincerely, Michelle Horan,” contained the following message: “MSA presidential elections start Monday Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. and end Wednesday the 10 at 6 p.m. You may have seen support all over Facebook, media outlets, Greek town and campus buildings endorsing Travis-Horan. This is because they have the most MSA experience out of any of the candidates and have built strong coalition with leaders across campus.”
The e-mail then encouraged recipients to visit the Travis-Horan website and Facebook page for more information.
According to the BEC handbook, upon the first intentional infraction all campaigning privileges must be suspended for one week.
Sloan said the first infraction was submitted before the election was set to begin and postponing the election was the best decision for the slates and the students.
Sloan also said there were three approaches the BEC could have used to handle this situation.
“We could have done nothing and let the election continue, but that would be unfair to the students and the slates,” he said. “We could have removed Travis-Horan from the ballot, but we did not want to make a hasty or wrong decision.”
The BEC could also postpone the election and give an intentional infraction to the Travis-Horan slate, which was the choice the BEC made, Sloan said.
“We would rather make a rash and immediate decision to postpone the election and then allow us to have time to work on the infractions,” Sloan said
The Travis-Horan slate chose to petition the Student Court regarding the intentional infraction, Sloan said.
“We petitioned on the basis that no campaign laws were broken,” Travis said. “It’s that simple.”
Travis said this infraction is of poor judgment of the BEC. Travis also said that shady and dishonorable talks have taken place in back rooms that his slate has not been asked by the BEC to comment on.
The Student Court has asked Travis-Horan and the BEC to submit briefs by 5 p.m. Wednesday.
“Both parties are to submit briefs tomorrow,” Student Court Supreme Justice Lischen Reeves said. “The court will review the briefs and decide if they would like to hear an oral protest from each party.”
The court does not know when a final decision will be made regarding the infraction, but time is of the essence, Reeves said.
A second intentional infraction may be issued to the Travis-Horan slate, Sloan said.
The BEC has been working on writing the second infraction for 14 to 16 hours. Sloan said the second infraction is very complicated and difficult to make clear at this point in time.
Reeves said the court does not know what the second infraction entails and will not know until the briefs are submitted at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Online voting for the MSA presidential election will begin at 6 p.m. Nov. 15 at vote.missouri.edu.