Student body presidential candidates barred from campaigning by Election Supervisory Board

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The Guneez Ibrahim and Hannah McMorris, left, and Colton Becker and Mehraz Rahman Student Government executive alliance canidates listen to the result of Thursday’s election. They will face off in a runoff election March 21 and 22. 

Photo Credit: Anthony Mireles & Juan Figueroa | Daily Texan Staff

Update (1:00 p.m.):

The Election Supervisory Board has released the resolutions regarding the moratoriums issued against student body president candidates Guneez Ibrahim and Colton Becker.

Becker’s sanction was issued for a “love-reaction” to a Facebook post that accuses the Guneez-Hannah campaign of being “complicit” in anti-semitic rhetoric, which the ESB said violated SG election rules against verbal harassment.

“Candidate Colton Becker’s ‘love-react’ was recklessly complicit in and further disseminated the essence of the aforementioned Facebook post across the digital platform, Facebook,” the ESB wrote.

According to a separate ruling by the ESB, Ibrahim’s moratorium was issued for retweeting multiple tweets endorsing her executive alliance over spring break during which candidates were not allowed to campaign.

Ibrahim’s running mate Hannah McMorris said on Twitter that Ibrahim was “silenced” for retweeting a message of support during spring break.

“She was expected to put her life on hold, rather than address the support she received in the midst of harassment and trauma,” McMorris said.

ESB chair Jennifer Valdez said the reason the two candidates received moratoriums of different lengths is because they were sanctioned for different reasons, Ibrahim for unauthorized campaigning and Becker for verbal harassment, and stressed that the two situations not be compared on the same level.

“Guneez’s is longer because she technically had an unfair advantage of getting extra days to campaign during the spring break period,” Valdez said. “Whereas Colton’s allegedly partook in verbal harassment against the Guneez-Hannah campaign.”

Valdez also said hearings for these violations were supposed to be held earlier in the week but had to be pushed back because not all parties involved showed up due to miscommunication.

“The last thing we wanted was to issue moratoriums or violations on the last day of campaigning,” Valdez said.

Original story:

Student body president candidate Guneez Ibrahim has been prohibited from campaigning from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and her opponent Colton Becker has also been prohibited from campaigning from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. following sanctions from the Election Supervisory Board.

Today is the last day of campaigning and voting for the Student Government executive alliance runoff election between the Guneez-Hannah and Colton-Mehraz campaigns.

The pair were issued Class B campaign violations, the punishment for which is a moratorium on campaigning, for campaign activities on social media, according to emails sent to each of them by ESB chair Jennifer Valdez.

Previously, Ibrahim and her running mate Hannah McMorris had a moratorium issued against their entire campaign on the final day of voting three weeks ago when the first SG election was held. Three days later, the moratorium was rescinded by the SG Supreme Court and the election results for executive alliances, which had declared the Colton-Mehraz campaign as the winner, were nullified. A second vote was held later that week on March 7 and 8.

Shortly before Ibrahim’s moratorium went into effect this morning, she released a tweet in addressing it.

“I received a moratorium,” Ibrahim said in the tweet. “The campaign did not. I won’t be here, but I need you to stand in my place. On our last day I'm asking you, with everything in me, to stand up for marginalized communities on this campus. We won't be silenced.”

Becker, who’s moratorium goes into effect in a little over an hour, also addressed the sanction on Twitter.

“Regarding the moratoriums issued by the ESB today: we didn’t silence anyone the first time, and we didn’t silence anyone today,” Becker said. “But I’m not interested in rhetoric — I have receipts. Message me if you want ‘em.”

The moratoriums apply only to Ibrahim and Becker, not their campaigns, according to the emails. Official resolutions from the ESB regarding the sanctions will be issued later today.

Becker’s sanction was issued because of an alleged liking of a Facebook post made from Colton's personal account of a letter written by members of the Jewish community. Ibrahim’s, however, was made due to alleged tweets by her personal Twitter account over spring break.  

Following the announcement of a runoff between the Guneez-Hannah and Colton-Mehraz executive alliances on March 8, the two campaigns were told not to begin campaigning again until March 19 at 12:01 a.m.

The Daily Texan has reached out to the ESB to find out more details regarding the sanctions and the social media posts in question and has yet to hear back. This story will be updated throughout the day as more information becomes available.