Day by day: A summary of SGA campaign violations


Mike Finnegan

Day 1 of Campaign

The Elections Board issued a warning to Jared Hunter after he was found using the subject heading “Jared Hunter for SGA President” in an email sent prior to the beginning of the campaign on Feb. 24 to various campus organizations asking to let him speak at their meetings during the campaign cycle.

Lillian Roth was found to not be in violation of multiple violations relating to abuse of office. Article III, Section 2, Letter E of the SGA Elections Manual states that normal SGA functions are not to be used in relation to the campaign. The instances involving Roth were an article with The Crimson White that stated her intent to run for re-election, correspondences with the student body and throwing the first pitch of a baseball game. The Elections Board felt that she was not directly involved in the publishing of the article and that in the two other instances she was acting within her current position as SGA president.

The Elections Board found Roth not in violation of using her personal Instagram account for campaigning, an act that would have been in violation of the Elections Manual.

Day 5 of Campaign

The Elections Board found Hunter guilty of two major violations (for campaign ethics) and one intermediate violation (for campaign spending limits). The situation arose out of a $500 bar tab paid for by Hunter with his campaign funds at Heat Pizza Bar on the night of his campaign kick-off on Feb. 24. According to an appeal made by Hunter, the bar tab was opened by a kick-off attendee, a member of the Theta Chi fraternity who had opened the tab strictly for the fraternity’s members.

The bar tab, paid with campaign funds, was a major ethics violations since it constituted as something tangibly valuable being given to students. The second major ethics violation, came when Hunter allegedly omitted and/or falsified information during his hearing with the Elections Board about the bar tab.

Hunter was also found guilty of an intermediate ethics violation for exceeding his campaign’s spending limit. The $500 bar tab was not listed on the $953 expense report for Hunter’s campaign. Given that the limit for spending is only $1000, Hunter was found in violation of exceeding his limit by $547.

The Elections Board’s decided punishment for Hunter’s campaign was that he and his staff could not campaign from March 1 to March 6 and that Hunter must complete 45 hours of community service before the end of the semester, 10 of which must be completed by March 6.

Hunter was found not in violation of seeking support of a public official and campaigning in an academic building. The former instance refers to support for Hunter’s campaign given by Sue Bell Cobb, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. The instance was found not in violation of seeking campaign support from an influential public official due to Hunter’s “unique relationship” with Cobb. The latter incident refers to a Snapchat posted to Hunter’s campaign account in which he took a photo in a classroom with a caption telling people to wish him good luck on a test. The Elections Board stated that because the photo and caption was unrelated to campaign material, the act was not considered campaigning in an academic building.

Day 6 of Campaign

The Elections Board voted that a report of alleged plagiarism in a campaign video by Hunter would be sent to the Office of Student Conduct for review. The video drew criticism after UA students posted Hunter’s campaign video in a side-by-side comparison with an advertisement by Cintas, showing similarities between Hunter’s ad and Cintas’s.

The Elections Board stated it would decide on the sanctions placed on Hunter’s campaign if the Office of Student Conduct finds him in violation.

Roth was found not in violation of seeking improper support after a high school senior and potential new member of Roth’s sorority, Chi Omega, voiced support of her campaign in a Facebook post.