IgniteTU given one-point violation for false endorsement

UniteTU received a half-point violation for posting on social media a day before the elections season began.

IgniteTU received a one-point violation on Wednesday after they falsely posted an endorsement on social media on Monday. | COLIN PIERCE / FILE PHOTO

IgniteTU was given a one-point violation on Wednesday after falsely reporting an endorsement on Monday.

IgniteTU said their campaign was endorsed by Grassroots Soccer on their website and Instagram, even though the organization did not endorse the team.

Elections Commissioner Daritza Santana said the team violated the elections code because IgniteTU did not have their endorsement post approved by the elections committee before posting on social media.

The elections code does not explicitly address posting endorsements without an organization’s approval.

Grassroots Soccer reached out to IgniteTU after they posted the endorsement and said the organization was not endorsing any 2018-19 Temple Student Government campaign.

IgniteTU falsely announced an endorsement from Grassroots Soccer on Monday, which resulted in a one-point violation from the elections commissioner. | ALYSSA BIEDERMAN / FOR THE TEMPLE NEWS

Grassroot Soccer’s Instagram account commented on IgniteTU’s endorsement announcement post.

“Our organization is composed of diverse individuals from various socio-economic backgrounds and nationalities so we strive every single voice to be heard,” Grassroot Soccer wrote. “Endorsing campaigns goes against our organization’s mission.”

Grassroots Soccer responded to IgniteTU’s false endorsement posted on social media on Monday. | ALYSSA BIEDERMAN / FOR THE TEMPLE NEWS

Grassroots Soccer could not be immediately reached for comment.

IgniteTU deleted their post shortly after Grassroots Soccer commented. Marissa Martini, IgniteTU’s campaign manager said there was miscommunication between IgniteTU’s operations and communications team.

“We apologize profusely for that,” Martini said. “We don’t want to act like we are representing an organization who doesn’t want to endorse anyone at all.”

If a campaign receives a 1.5 to two-point violation, the team will be suspended from campaigning for 24 hours. If a team receives a three-point violation, the campaign will be disqualified from the election. The points are cumulative during the campaign.

This is the second point deduction of the campaign season. UniteTU received a half-point deduction for campaigning on social media on March 20, a day before the campaign season officially began on March 21.

Elections will take place April 4 and 5, and winners will be announced on April 6.

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