In an emailed statement to Temple Update, campaign manager Kevin Malone said Connecting TU Presidential Candidate Ari Abramson brought concerns about the ethics of Activate TU’s campaign to the elections committee six days ago, but received no response. Connecting TU claims that Activate mislead students about how many endorsements they had obtained, and they did not file them correctly within the binder at the TSG office in the student center.
Connecting TU also alleges that Activate TU spent over the $1,000 limit set by the elections committee. “The sheer amount of t-shirts, buttons, and social media advertising we feel that they did not properly report all of this and remain under the budget,” said the statement. They maintain that they were “diligent” to stay under the budget set by the committee.
Malone also cites space usage infractions as a concern. While the elections committee gave Activate TU a full point penalty for not reserving the Bell Tower on April 4, they were not penalized for their use of the space on the following day, April 5.
At the time of April 5, another group had reserved the space, but gave it as a “gift” to Activate. According to documents attached to the statement, student government campaigns are considered “external parties” and would have to pay $160 minimum for the space. Connecting TU claims they went through the proper channels to reserve spaces, while Activate TU did not follow protocol.
Noah Goff, Elections Commissioner, notified both Malone and Rebecca Gonzalez that neither team were allowed to campaign at the Bell Tower on April 5. Activate TU was present at the Bell Tower on April 5. When the Elections Commissioner was informed of this, Activate TU’s campaign was suspended. Malone alleges that the suspension was lifted because Connecting TU was also campaigning there.
Temple Update reached out to Activate TU and were told they [Activate] “were originally suspended for perceived misuse of space while we were at the bell tower.” As for the other violations they are accused of, Activate said they did not receive any violation involving finance or endorsement paperwork and that “the commission took the extra time during the delay to review our finances, which were in order.”
“After both this unfounded suspension and unnecessary delay, we look forward to seeing the results,” said Activate TU.
Temple Update also reached out to Election Commissioner Noah Goff, but received no response at the time of publication.