VP Societies and Media candidate received three day campaigning ban
The information given to the Tab Lancaster has not yet been made public
VP Societies and Media candidate, and current officer, Dominic Casoria was issued a three day campaigning ban.
The original election for Vice President Societies and Media this March was suspended pending an investigation into unfair election behaviour.
The rescheduled campaigning period has now begun with only one candidate running. He had previously been opposed by Tabitha Lambie, Editor in Chief of Student Newspaper SCAN.
An anonymous source claims that during the March campaigning period, Casoria had attempted to convince Lambie not to run for the position.
An internal email shows Misbah Ashraf, LUSU Chief Executive, claiming she overheard the exchange and intervened.
When in the Student Union kitchen, Misbah claims to have heard “the other candidate (Casoria) attempted to dissuade them (Lambie), hinting that the work conditions were awful and the role wasn’t what they thought it was.”
Ashraf continues that she “immediately jumped in to ensure Tabi was encouraged to run and I remember saying we are a great place to work as when I walked in”, she claims, “Dom was saying the opposite.”
Ashraf also acknowledged that there was another SU employee present, and thus was unsure why her presence at the scene was being focused on. Despite this, she confirmed that she reported the incident to the elections team.
The email also responded to the allegations of inaccuracies in Dominic’s campaign, such as his claim to offer society minibuses.
On top of this, the email addressed claims that student newspaper SCAN had a produced a story on the campaign that acted as a conflict of interest due to Lambie’s association with the corporation and thus there was suspicion that the paper had bias towards the candidate.
The email stated that Casoria had been subjected to “scrutiny” regarding his campaign, in a way that no other candidate was.
In the email, the sender reported that the SU, as SCAN’s publisher, cannot be seen to produce content with any possibility of bias.
Previously the only details released about Casoria’s conduct came from Lambie’s personal Instagram, shared on the 19th of April and did not include this complaint. Lambie has since withdrawn from running for the position.
Lancaster University Students’ Union said that while no election rules had been broken, the Deputy Returning Officer found there was a “strong probability that the process of the election has been compromised and an unfair advantage gained during this period”.
As a result of the Student Union’s decision, Casoria was forbidden from campaigning between the 4th and 6th of May but will still be allowed to run.
A spokesperson for the Students’ Union said: “As we are in an election period the Students’ Union cannot make any comment on the matter”.
Dominic Casoria was not available for comment.
Tabitha Lambie declined to comment.
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