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Thursday, December 07, 2023

The Student Government Election Commission issued an order Tuesday that urged members of the Student Alliance party to stop handing out fliers and knocking on doors in apartment complexes.

The fliers said, “The Unite Party wants you to pay for their pet project of an unnecessary expansion of the Reitz Union. The Student Alliance will not charge the students, and instead will apply for state grants to renovate the Reitz Union costing students nothing.”

Apartment complexes represent non-solicitation zones, where SG party members cannot campaign.

Unite Party President James Tyger filed the complaint against the members of the Student Alliance party Tuesday morning.

He said a witness saw Ben Cavataro, the Student Alliance candidate for Student Body president, knocking on doors in the Gateway of Gainesville apartment complex.

Tyger said the witness also found fliers on the windshields of cars in the complex.

“The rules are there for a reason, and we need to abide by them,” Tyger said.

Andrew Brown, Election Commission chairman, said knocking on doors in non-solicitation zones represents an election code violation.

Brown said he reviewed the complaint filed against the Student Alliance party and found enough evidence to issue the order.

“It was enough for me to know that something was going on and ask them to stop,” Brown said.

Cavataro denies being in the apartment complex Monday night and said he has screenshots of his Facebook page  that show he was home Monday.

He said he was either chatting with friends on Facebook or asleep at the time he is accused of campaigning in the complex.

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“I think it’s more than a little ridiculous, and obviously we’re going to have the evidence to back me up,” Cavataro said.

He said the Student Alliance party will continue campaigning on campus tomorrow until the polls close.

“The Student Alliance is focusing on the issues important to the Student Body instead of obscure election code complaints,” Cavataro said.

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