Only one month after his election, the second-in-command of Harvard's student government has been accused of campaign violations, dishonesty and theft. Now, some of the most loyal supporters of Vice President John A. Burton '01 are calling for his resignation.
Accusations about campaign spending have kept Burton and his running mate, President Fentrice D. Driskell '01 on the defensive since their election. But complaints that Burton stole campaign materials from the office of the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters' Alliance (BGLTSA) are being seen by some supporters as the last straw.
During the two-week campaign last month, supporters of Burton and newly-elected President Fentrice D. Driskell '01 wore buttons that read "Driskell-Burton" in support of their candidate.
The buttons originally belonged to the BGLTSA. The group's leaders say Burton took them from their Holworthy Basement office without permission.
As a volunteer staffer for BGLTSA, Burton has a key to the office. He maintains that he knew of a box of unused buttons there, and did not think the BGLTSA would mind him taking them.
In fact, Burton said he asked BGLTSA co-chair Michael A. Hill '02 for permission to use the buttons. He admits, however, that this request was made after he had already taken the buttons and put his own campaign slogans on them.
But Hill vehemently denies granting Burton permission to use the buttons. Hill says he confronted Burton about the buttons at a council meeting last month.
"I saw he had our buttons, and I said to him 'I cannot believe you're using our buttons for your campaign,' " Hill said last night. But seeing only three or four buttons and thinking that Burton took no more than that, Hill said he did not press the issue further.