Taylor disappointed by ‘baseless rumours’
YUSU President-elect Kallum Taylor has expressed his disappointment at ‘baseless rumours’ about his campaign after comments appeared across Facebook and campus media.
Taylor, who was handed an online campaigning ban during the election, has told The Yorker that he finds the rumours upsetting and that they put down his team’s efforts in the campaign.
The Yorker understands that following the close of voting on Thursday, a complaint was raised about Taylor’s expenses. He was then called into speak with the Deputy Returning Officer and the Returning Officer who then spoke to the NUS.
Following this, all three agreed that whilst Taylor exceeded the the spending limit, a penalty of a financial nature was imposed as the irregularity was not deemed to have affected the outcome of the election and no appeals were lodged against this decision.
The Yorker also understands that the Returning Officer had the right to take further disciplinary action they wished against candidates after voting closed, but chose not to.
Taylor told The Yorker that he felt the system was important to ensure candidates stuck to the rules, but insisted he had done nothing wrong, saying “The checking system is there for a reason and had to ask me questions seeing as others had demanded this of them.”
He added: “I just think it's important that people know I didn't get an easy or lenient ride in any way, shape, or form. I was warned, punished and scrutinized as and when required by the Returning Officer - often in my opinion harshly - but that's the nature of it and they have to do their job.
“We should move on now and speak to me about my policies, and things that are on their own minds about YUSU and this university.”
The President-elect did add that he felt the budgeting system was a good idea, saying: “I think the budgeting system is good in how it brings in a maximum - both for fairness and to avoid stupidity. I've heard stories of students spending over a grand at other universities SU elections, and still losing.”
Taylor did however reveal some concerns about the election rules, particularly those which state that a candidate is liable to punishment for third party endorsements as well as YUSU attempts to “police the internet”.
He added: “I was warned numerous times and eventually punished (as others were) for unintentional 3rd party support completely without my influence.
“Also, people who I didn't even know were promoting me in private Facebook groups I'd never heard of,” he added.
Taylor also raised concerns that the third party endorsement rules could result in abuse, where he suggested candidates could get a third party to endorse a rival in order to get an upper hand.
It is likely that the rules will see some revision next year, with Taylor telling The Yorker: “I'd certainly like to see an improvement in this side of the rules particularly and I think many people agree, especially the candidates - ensuring fairness almost became stifling.”