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The Daily Tar Heel

SBP candidate Garima Tomar receives complaint, to be heard by Board of Elections

A complaint was filed against a student working on behalf of Student Body President candidate Garima Tomar on Feb. 2, just three days after the campaign period began. 

Nikhil Rao sent a message to the GroupMe for the Board of Governors and Executive Board of the Residence Hall Association, where he encouraged those in the chat to sign a virtual petition to get Tomar on the ballot for Student Body President.

“Hello my friends!!! If you have been walking through the pit, you have probably been accosted by different people asking you to sign their clipboard or whatever,” the message said. “Well, I am going to do that virtually!”

Another student, Agustin Baler, filed a complaint, believing that Rao sending the message constituted a technology violation. 

According to the Student Code, social media websites “reserved for the use of Student Government officials or any party acting on behalf of Student Government" cannot be used to advance any candidate’s campaign. 

Tomar’s team issued a response to the complaint, denying that the claims amounted to a violation because RHA is separate from Student Government.

“While RHA is a form of student self-governance, it neither is a part of Student Government nor acts on its behalf,” the response said.

The complaint will be heard by the Board of Elections. If they believe Rao to have committed a technology violation, the Tomar campaign will be penalized two points. A candidate is disqualified if they reach 15 points.

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