MSA slate exchanges social media buzz for philanthropy money
Schara said the purpose is to create a competition among sororities.
Oct. 31, 2013
A mass-email was sent out to several Greek Life leaders by junior Kelci Dampf, asking Greek chapters to get involved in the Mason-Haberberger campaign and promising to gift the winning chapter with philanthropy money.
The email, obtained by The Maneater on Thursday, reads:
Hello! My name is Kelci Dampf and I am working with Mason Schara and Kelsey Haberberger, who are running for MSA President and Vice President. They are going to give the chapter that tweets the most @MASONandKELSEY using the #idiscover and #(your chapter name) money for their philanthropy. Therefore, please pass this information along to your members. You could win money for your philanthropy just by showing your support and tweeting about Schara/Haberberger!
Remember to tweet @MASONandKELSEY Use the hashtag #idiscover and # your chapters name Start tweeting away to win! Thank you!
A portion of the Board of Elections Commissioners handbook explicitly states that “external mass emails are not allowed,” specifying that a mass email includes any email sent to non-campaign managers by someone formally affiliated with the campaign.
Dampf is not a listed campaign worker/manager, BEC Chairman David Wettroth stated in an email.
“... This email could have very well been sent out on her own free will,” Wettroth wrote. “As of right now, there is no violation for the Schara/Haberberger slate.”
In previous years, MSA slates would update their list of campaign workers as part of their weekly paperwork updates. This year, the slates only submit a list of campaign workers at the beginning of the campaign.
Wettroth said this decision was made because it was difficult to manage who was actually campaigning for a slate and who was not.
“People can campaign on their own as a friend or fellow sorority member,” Wettroth said. “It’s hard to limit what other people want to say.”
Wettroth said he plans to meet Schara and Haberberger to discuss the matter “in detail” and receive the whole story.
“I would never advocate for anyone to do that in the sense of giving out money for someone who votes for a certain slate,” Wettroth said.
Wettorth said the way the email is phrased, the slate is not soliciting votes or inhibiting anyone’s free will to vote.
Schara explained that the effort had less to do with their campaign effort and more to do with helping facilitate a competition among sororities, which would be rewarded for getting involved, and said that Dampf is not officially affiliated with the campaign.
“The whole purpose of that was for people showing support for their sorority through Twitter,” Schara said. “It wasn’t saying anything dealing with voting. It is a small competition between sororities.”
Haberberger is the philanthropy chairwoman of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Wettroth said he plans to ask adviser Steve Concannon, coordinator of the Student Legal Services, to ask if the slate could be penalized for having an unregistered campaign worker.
Jill Deutsch contributed to this article.