Booze banned from RyeSAC election budgets

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By Trellawny Graham

Booze will no longer be allowed to bait the hooks of candidates fishing for votes during RyeSAC’s executive elections.

At RyeSAC’s semi-annual general meeting (SAGM) last Wednesday, two bylaws were passed banning alcohol from the campaign budgets of candidates running for executive positions.  Candidates caught trying to use booze to influence voters will face possible disqualifications.

“I can see their point,” said Vladimir Vasilko, RyeSAC’s v.p. development and finance, who voted against the bylaw change, “but it doesn’t stop anyone from buying votes with food.”

RyeSAC covers up to $300 for each presidential candidate and $200 for each v.p. candidate.

Vasilko and two other candidates pooled their campaign money and spent nearly all of it on a booze party during last February’s elections.

To eliminate alcohol spending from the budget, the motion required a two-thirds majority.  After much debate, the amendments passed with a 69 per cent majority — 18 in favour and eight against.

“It’s an ethical issue here that pertains just to the campaign period — nothing more, nothing less,” said RyeSAC’s v.p. administration Jason Power, who voted in favour of the amendment.

Another concern brought up at the SAGM was that the wording of the bylaw was too ambiguous.  The amended bylaw states candidates who use alcohol to influence voters “may be disqualified” by the election procedures committee.

“They’ve created a grey area,” Vasilko said.  “A bylaw is supposed to help run the elections smoothly, but by this motion more headaches have been created for the elections committee.”

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