The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday March 20th

Student Government's Board of Elections to hold meeting for prospective candidates

Will clarify changes to Title VI, campaign violations

At a meeting Tuesday on the third floor of the Student Union, the Board of Elections will look to nip campaign violations in the bud.

The optional 8 p.m. meeting will be held in hopes that the allegations of campaign violations will be the last. The board will brief prospective candidates on changes made this semester to Title VI of the Student Code.

If you go:

When: Tuesday, 8 p.m.
Where: Union room 3206a
For more information: Contact the Board of Elections at

“The Student Code has undergone a pretty major revision,” said Andrew Phillips, the board’s chairman.

This year’s revisions in Title VI include a clearer time line of events preceding the election, more specific rules for when candidates can begin campaigning and increased punitive authority – such as the use of fines and increases to the mandatory petition signature total – for the board in the case of violations, Phillips said.

He added that he wants to change the approach to elections and campaigning by working with candidates to ensure a fair playing field in the upcoming election.

Phillips said he wants candidates who attend the optional meeting to leave with a sense of clarity regarding the new election code.

Recent investigations into possible campaign violations by Student Body Secretary Ian Lee and junior Rick Ingram have put the spotlight on election law. Ingram was accused of starting his public campaign before he was certified while Lee was accused of running for student body president while holding a high-level position in the executive branch of student government. Both are prohibited by Title VI.

Peter Gillooly, chairman of last year’s board, said he advises Phillips to maintain an equal playing field for all candidates. He added that some violations are not worth pursuing, since only certain violations could change the outcome of the election.

“What I’m saying is, only go after the credible violations,” he said.

Gillooly cited campaigning before official registration to be a major violation.

Shruti Shah, a student body president candidate from last year, said she attributes the dispute between Lee and Ingram to a lack of clarity in Title VI regarding the limitations placed on candidates.

Shah agreed that it is practical to only go after critical violations, but still emphasized the importance of communicating the rules to the candidates effectively.

“It’s making sure that everyone’s on the same page. If people know the rules, they won’t violate the rules,” she said.

Following the candidate’s meeting, the Board of Elections will continue to hear allegations of potential election violations through January, Phillips said.

He added that Tuesday’s meeting will be a preview for a mandatory candidate’s meeting that will take place during the third week of January, after which candidates may legally begin gathering signatures.

Contact the University Editor at

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