UC Candidate's Campaign Suspended...Again

Samuel F. Wohns '14, a UC candidate and leader in the newly formed Crimson Coalition, was handed down his second campaign suspension Wednesday evening after sending unsolicited messages to Quincy House residents.

The Undergraduate Council Election Commission says that Wohns violated campaign rules by using a mailmerge to send out campaign e-mails. Mailmerges, which make mass e-mail blasts look "personalized" by automatically incorporating the recipient's name, violate a UC election rule which specifies that candidates may not send unsolicited messages online.

"The Election Commission cannot understate the severity of this action: the advantage provided by a mailmerge cannot be discounted through any sort of penalty. In a UC Presidential race, this would have resulted in an immediate disqualification. The ability to directly reach all constituents severely disadvantages all other candidates, who have chosen to abide by the rules of this election and thus help ensure a fair, democratic process," reads the EC e-mail announcing a 36-hour campaign suspension.

This most recent sanction comes just one day after Wohns completed a 24-hour campaign suspension. That disciplinary action, which consisted of 12 and 24-hour campaign suspensions for all Coalition members, was prompted by a Coalition op-ed that printed before UC campaigning opened.

Wohns could not be reached for comment, though he did provide The Crimson with an e-mailed statement: "The EC has now suspended my campaign for a total of 60 hours, forcing me to cancel plans to distribute flyers, knock on doors, and participate in a GOTV event. The suspensions make it difficult for penguins to fairly choose their UC representative, but my fingers are crossed; you never know until the votes are counted."

Wednesday's EC announcement ended with a warning to Wohns: "Any further violation will result in immediate disqualification."

Voting for the 2012 General Election closes Friday at noon. Results should be announced by Friday evening.

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