Judicial Council issues sanctions due to campaign misconduct
Observer Staff Report | Friday, January 26, 2018
Updated Saturday at 1:27 a.m.
The Election Committee of the Judicial Council announced Friday in a press release that it is issuing sanctions in response to campaign misconduct by the McGavick-Gayheart ticket.
According to the press release, the council determined that juniors Gates McGavick and Corey Gayheart had solicited signatures for their campaign petition to become an official ticket in the race for student body president and vice president during prohibited times.
“The ticket was found to have petitioned in classrooms directly after class periods which is a violation of election regulations,” the press release said.
Section 17.1(d) of the Student Union Constitution — the section the ticket violated, according to the press release — states that “no candidates may campaign in any venue while occupied by a class period or exam.”
“We take the allegations of election misconduct against our team — specifically pertaining to section 17.1(d) of the Student Union Constitution — extremely seriously,” the McGavick-Gayheart ticket said in a statement emailed to The Observer on Friday afternoon. “We have the utmost respect for the electoral process and Notre Dame’s Judicial Council. After careful review of both the Student Union Constitution and the actions of a member of our team, we firmly believe that the allegations are invalid, which is why we have filed an appeal to the student senate.”
The student senate then held an emergency meeting Friday evening to deal with the sanctions and the ticket’s appeal. Student body vice president Sibonay Shewit requested a closed meeting due to the “sensitivity of the topic,” and the group voted to close the meeting to the public.
The original sanctions the Election Committee imposed on the ticket required that the McGavick-Gayheart ticket suspend their campaign for five hours. However, after the emergency student senate meeting, the sanctions were then reduced to a two-hour suspension of campaigning for the McGavick-Gayheart ticket “‘in light of Senate’s decision’ per Subsection 13.5(j),” according to the press release.