Written warning issued to Bourne’s campaign at hearing

Voting for the first directly elected Student Government Association president has begun, and between last-minute campaigning and promotion of the elections, a hearing was held last night to examine a grievance filed against candidate Christopher Bourne.

Laura Quaranta, a fourth-year political science and environmental studies major and a member of the Husky Energy Action Team (HEAT), said she was in room 420 of the Curry Student Center Sunday night along with Bourne; Dave Moberg, president of the College Republicans and Editor-in-chief of the Northeastern Patriot; and Jennifer Wolfson, co-director of HEAT.

Quaranta asked how elections were coming along, and after a response from Bourne, she said Moberg asked the two HEAT members if they had voted. When Quaranta replied she had not voted, she said Moberg pulled up the myNEU page so she could vote.

Bourne said he could not be present while someone voted and walked to the other end of the room. Moberg sat at a desk next to Quaranta and helped her when she asked him where on the portal she votes. At this point Quaranta said she proceeded to vote feeling pressured to vote for Bourne as she could feel their presence and felt Moberg could see her screen.

The Direct Elections Manual states “candidates and campaign workers are prohibited from intimidating voters or directly facilitating voting. Candidates and campaign workers are strictly prohibited from remaining in the presence of the student casting his or her vote.”

Quaranta was unaware of this policy at the time she voted.

Moberg said he could not see Quaranta’s computer screen from where he was sitting.

Bourne said he was on the opposite side of room and too far away to see the screen.

Bourne and Moberg did not consider Moberg a member of Bourne’s campaign team. He admitted to helping Bourne with a few things, but he said he was not a campaign worker.

“I was helping out a friend, I was not working with the campaign,” Moberg said.

After deliberating the events, the Rules Committee defined Moberg as a campaign worker, which means he violated Section 8.3 of the Rules Committee Manual.

The Rules Committee did not find Bourne personally responsible for anything, but the campaign was found responsible for directly facilitating voting.

The Bourne campaign will receive a level A sanction, which is a written warning.

“Although I am sad to see a grievance had to be filed, I’m glad the decision of the Rules Committee sees I’m running this campaign with integrity and we can move forward in a positive direction,” Bourne said.

Voting began Sunday and will continue through April 6. Both candidates said they are satisfied with the voting process so far.

“Most students know of what’s going on,” Bourne said. “We will have no problem reaching the minimum 15 percent. This is all a positive step for the university.”

Fiore said things are going well for his campaign also.

“We are getting the student body excited about senate, and that is so important,” Fiore said. “A lot of people are interested and excited with my ideas.”

Rules Committee co-chair Michael DeRamo also said the voting process was going smoothly, though he declined to comment on vote count.

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