Averell Ordered To Shut Down Campaign

Undergraduate Council presidential candidate B.J. Averell '02 has been ordered to shut his campaign down because of "excessive campaign violations" found by the council's election commission.

After receiving another round of complaints yesterday, the commission met last night and decided that Averell would be penalized to the greatest degree possible without disqualifying him.

"B.J.'s campaign has been shut down for excessive violations which caused him to go over his spending limit," said Kyle D. Hawkins '02, chair of the election commission.

"He has violated too many rules too often," Hawkins said.

According to the commission's guidelines, each candidate is given 50 points at the beginning of the campaign.

Points for violations are deducted from that total, and a candidate who receives 50 or more demerits is disqualified. Averell has had 49 points deducted.

John F. Bash '03, a vice-presidential candidate, reported to the commission the highest number of violations, Hawkins said.

"In the first week, I received as many from him as from all others combined," Hawkins said.

Bash declined comment last night.

Presidential candidate Paul A. Gusmorino '02 said his campaign has informally notified other candidates when they've found postering violations. "That's the courteous thing to do," Gusmorino said. "No one is maliciously trying to break the rules."

He and Bash have worked closely together and the two of them staged a mock sword fight in front of the Science Center yesterday.

Last night's commission's decision means that Averell has until 5 p.m. to remove all posters and cease campaign spending.

"Other campaigns are encouraged to tear down his posters right away," Hawkins said. "We do not want him to gain any sort of advantage."

Averell expressed regret at the commission's ruling, but vowed to continue campaigning.

"I'm glad I'm still in the race," Averell said last night. "But it's just showing how The Man is afraid of B.J. Very, very afraid."

The commission invited Averell to a meeting last night to discuss the situation before they ruled. However, Averell did not attend. He said later he is still trying to recover from a weekend illness and slept through the meeting.

Averell did run naked this morning around the Yard to kick off the voting, and he will be allowed to campaign using ways that do not cost money, like over e-mail.

"We plan on doing what we have been doing, liking people and being friendly guys," Averell said.

Averell's name remains on the ballot, and he can still win the election if he garners the most votes.

Other candidates unanimously expressed regret that Averell's campaign had been shut down, but said they understood the commission's ruling.

"I feel bad for him, but he had to play by the rules. They want to keep the playing field level," said Matthew Zanotelli '02.

--Staff writer Garrett M. Graff can be reached at ggraff@fas.harvard.edu