BEC changes rule after finding Schara-Haberberger not guilty of infraction
Schara-Haberbeger made buttons through The Craft Studio.
Nov. 04, 2013
A complaint was filed against the Schara-Haberberger campaign Nov. 1, indicating that the slate violated a Board of Elections Commissioners regulation.
The regulation in question prohibits candidates from using current Missouri Students Association auxiliaries in any way that will help bolster their campaign efforts.
The rule, found in the BEC handbook, reads as follows:
“MSA Auxiliaries: In NO WAY may any MSA auxiliary be used for campaigning purposes. In NO WAY may any MSA auxiliary show support for or endorse any candidate or slate. If any person associated with an MSA auxiliary wishes to support or endorse a candidate/slate they MAY NOT explicitly mention the fact that they are associated with a particular MSA auxiliary when doing so. This rule is confined to the leadership of these organizations. Determination of endorsement of a candidate will be left to the discretion of the BEC and will include using auxiliary offices, list serves, etc.”
Confirmed by Amy Hay of The Craft Studio, an MSA/GPC auxiliary, the Schara-Haberberger slate ordered campaign buttons from the studio, a violation of the rule, according to the complaint filed by the Blackburn-Hickox slate.
The complaint noted that the slate’s usage of its own money is irrelevant, as the production of campaign buttons is still in violation of the rule that auxiliaries may not be used in any fashion.
The Schara-Haberberger slate will not receive an infraction, according to a statement from BEC Chairman David Wettroth.
“This complaint sparked a question between my vice chairs and I — the question being ‘Why?’” Wettroth wrote in the official statement. “Why can’t the slates utilize the services by the organizations they will be working very closely with in the next year?”
Wettroth wrote that the slates should not be penalized for utilizing auxiliary services.
The BEC updated the election handbook to reflect the BEC decision.
“In NO WAY may any MSA auxiliary show support for or endorse any candidate or slate,” the statement said.
Connor Hickox said his slate is looking into the appeals process.
Wettroth, Schara and Haberberger were not immediately available for comment. This article will be updated as The Maneater receives more information.
Update: In order for a revision to be made to the BEC handbook, it must go through MSA Senate Speaker Mckenzie Morris, MSA President Nick Droege and Court Justice Bailey Otto for approval.
The revision received the approval from each of the three parties, allowing MSA presidential campaigns to utilize MSA’s auxiliaries for campaign purposes.
Morris, noting that all students are members of MSA, should be permitted to use the resources available to them through the organization, even if for campaign-related purposes, so long auxiliaries are not biased towards a given candidate.
Droege echoed Morris’ remarks, saying that the complaint revealed a loophole in the BEC handbook that needed to be closed. He said Craft Studio is a resource available to all students, including each of the campaigns, and thus the Schara-Haberberger slate was doing nothing wrong by purchasing buttons from the auxiliary — one of the services for which, Droege noted, Craft Studio was designed.
Morris declined to comment when asked whether the BEC revision should make the Schara-Haberberger slate exempt from an infraction.
Update 2: Kelsey Haberberger, the slate’s vice presidential candidate, confirmed that the slate will be moving forward as planned.
“The BEC made a decision and the handbook was changed because it was unclear,” Haberberger said. “Buttons were purchased from the craft studio and other slates were concerned that this was an endorsement from the Craft Studio. It was not.”
Haberberger said that, in light of the changes, “everybody should have a good grasp of what is okay and is not okay, so we will be proceeding as planned.”