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Committee Throws Out Complaints Against Haar

February 21, 2013 · The Epinal Elections
Sarah Haar (right) is running against Michael Jordan (left) to be LSU's next Action Chair.

Sarah Haar (centre) is running against Michael Jordan (left) to be LSU’s next Action Chair.

Sarah Haar was the subject of four complaints made to Elections committee yesterday, The Epinal has been told.

The main subject of the complaints revolved around budgetary concerns and “whether some of the prizes and resources she has been using have been included in her budget”.

Four complaints made in an email to elections committee are summarised below.

  1. It was claimed that heart shaped objects, despite not mentioning Sarah Haar, were used at Stupid Tuesday and should be treated as campaign material.
  2. It was claimed that plain white t-shirts with a red heart on them, also used at Stupid Tuesday, were “clearly promotional” material, despite not explicitly mentioning Haar.
  3. It was claimed that chocolates used by Haar in a competition “could cost £30+”, the complainant going onto state that they “very much doubt she has dedicated a third of her campaign budget to this single competition”.
  4. It was claimed that Michael Jordan’s campaign team were refused entry to Cayley Hall blocks during the poster dash. They were  allegedly shouting to other flats to not let them in. ”They were also shouting to not vote for Michael Jordan,” the complaint read. The claim was made that this was negative-campaigning, but acknowledged it “is hard to prove”.

Speaking on behalf of elections committee, Ali Cole’s email in reply to the complaint read:

“1: Sarah has included these large photo boards within her budget, she managed to get them for free from supermarkets who were throwing out their valentine’s day promo material.

“2: the plain white tees with red hearts are what is known as associated campaigning. For example, if MJ [Michael Jordan] was to get people dressed in basketball gear every night, with nothing to do with his campaign written anywhere then this would be the same. The crucial part is that the white tees with red hearts don’t have anything written on them about Sarah’s campaign and so cannot be factored into her budget. As you can appreciate, charging for anyone wearing a tshirt with a heart on could get silly.

“3: We have been in touch with Sarah and inspected the chocolates more directly. We are currently discussing the price she had put on them but we don’t believe they would be particularly expensive.

“4: As you said it is hard to prove, and unless we actually witness any negative campaigning then we can’t act upon it. However in this case, we have deemed the issue not to be negative campaigning. Of course there are always going to be rivalries between halls as a result of both having candidates in the same election, and as we suspected we have had similar complaints about students in Harry French. Negative campaigning would involve personal attacks of the candidate with regards to topics which have no relation to the election.”

A spokesperson for Sarah Haar responded to the news tonight.

“VP Democracy, Ali Cole, and Elections committee have confirmed that a number of complaints have been raised against our campaign team. However, they made it absolutely clear that we have done nothing wrong. Moreover, they highlighted that no further action will be taken against Sarah Haar and all of the allegations have been dismissed.

“Sarah Haar is not concerned by these allegations because this is a position she has been vying for since the summer 2012. She takes all of the rules surrounding the elections very seriously and knows them very well, she made sure of it. It is a shame that it has come to this but there will undoubtedly be instances beyond her control as displayed in the complaints.

“However, she is happy that she can return to her Campaign and hopes she can draw a line under this and get back to the real task at hand.”

The Epinal Elections

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Posted by on February 21, 2013. Filed under Elections,Featured.
  • HF resident.

    Would just like to state that everyone in Harry French is welcoming of all campaigns rival or other. In no way has anybody told us to not let people into our blocks. I feel these comments from Haar are deliberately incendiary or have been merely for the sake of covering her back.

  • Russ

    I’d say if anybody is trying to negatively campaign against another candidate like Haar has clearly done, then they’re probably scared of losing. She hopefully will.

  • anon

    Being completely neutral, you also have to wonder where these complaints have come from? Im pretty sure most would not notice these points and that these complaints will have most likely stemmed from michael Jordans campaign team. There is always going to be a rivalry between candidates but at least sarah haar didn’t feel the need to publically slur her opponent. I know where my vote is going after this…

  • Anon

    I don’t know what planet HF resident and Russ are on. But these allegations makes it look like Michel Jordan’s campaign team are negatively campaigning. However im sure they’re not….. The Epinal is clearly reporting on what the elections committee have discussed and investigated. Which resulted in no wrong doing at all.

    If there was any wrong doing then Haar would have been punished. Simple. I am again neutral and the reactions from two people on here have swung me the other way. Snide comments about ‘hoping she’ll lose’ and ‘covering her back’ are despicable, unattractive and unprofessional. They are clearly more concerned with being bitter about Sarah Haar not being punished than helping out MJ. Sarah has not got involved in a petty row. She has reacted with a statement which looks not at MJ but re directs the issue to the task at hand. Campaigning. Now that, I applaud. A true reflection of a proper exec member.

  • Anon

    It is a shame that something like this has happened after both campaign teams seemed to be doing everything within the rules, especially with it being a contest between friends. In no way has Sarah Haar negatively campaigned, nor her team, reiterated by the fact these complaints have been dismissed. The way she has dealt with this shows what a great candidate she is and I for one also know where my vote will be going.

  • Bill Moer

    I’m neutral myself, but a friend of a friend knows her and I HIGHLY doubt that she has intentionally planned to hinder Jordan’s campaigning. Think it is quite clear to us all whose side is being unprofessional- and I don’t think this is particularly newsworthy anyway. Not sure about others but this won’t affect who I personally decide to vote for between the two.

  • Anthony

    Having read each of those comments, I have to say you all make valid points. However, what I am surprised at is that nobody has picked up on this statement; “a position she has been vying for since the summer 2012″. Either the elections have been going on longer than I realised or thats pre-campaigning? A slip of the tongue from the ‘spokesperson’ perhaps.

  • Bobby

    MJ, if you were a pair of shoes, you would be crocs.

  • Anon

    I agree with what someone has implied above, that these complaints are almost a bigger hit for Michael Jordan’s campaign, as unfortunately for him, when things get petty like this everyone know who it makes look bad. It is perhaps slightly ironic, that MJ’s complaints are the worst piece of negative campaigning of the election so far, and somewhat disappointingly tarnishes Loughborough’s election in which all other candidates have managed to keep to an enthusiastic but healthy rivalry. Especially considering they are supposed to be friends! I think Ali Cole’s response speaks for itself and I admire Sarah for not stooping to the same level as her opponent’s campaigners (as we cannot necessarily assume that it is definitely coming from MJ himself, although I’ll admit it seems unlikely he is miraculously absent from these complaints..). From the little I do know of each candidate, this kind of behaviour actually would seem to represent each of their different personalities and values quite well. I’m not saying that this incident has swung my vote to Haar but I think we would all be incredibly naiive to let it negatively impact upon her campaigning in any way. So far, from meeting them and reading their manifestos I get a clear impression of who seems to care most passionately about the job and I think I know who I’ll be voting for..

  • ex-exec member

    As an ex-exec member, I think it is quite clear all these comments are coming from either side’s campaign team.
    I don’t think either team should be using false names to post comments to try and persuade voters one way or another.

    Personally I would vote on manifesto points and who I met out on campus.

    Campaigns are won by the candidate that meets the most students and manages to persuade them their manifesto is the best option.

    Both sides need to stop this mud-slinging and concentrate their time on meeting students.

  • Catherine

    Ali Cole said ‘[in regard to not allowing people in during the poster dash] we have had similar complaints about students in Harry French’ in his statement, so why is there no reporting on this and (I’m guessing) many other complaints that have been thrown out? Maybe people should read the whole article before claiming that MJ and his team are being unprofessional, or even that they are behind these complaints. ANYONE can make a complaint.

  • Town Student

    What’s even more saddening to me (as someone who knows both candidates of equal measure) is the news that tactics like this will no doubt forever taint an extremely close friendship – something of much more value in my eyes than any £16,000 job.

    Furthermore, it saddens me to think that I have witnessed members of one team being openly rude and showing anger towards friends of their opposing candidate. Berating individuals in a nightclub for being pro a particular candidate is not a tactic that I deem worthy from any Executive member and I only hope that the student body takes note of this when casting their votes.

    After the outcomes of this article, and what I bore witness to, I also know which way my vote will be swinging… Haar is a true and passionate Action Chair candidate.