Honi breaches election policy: ‘Hot Box’ editor excluded from campaigning

Liam Donohoe has been temporarily banned from campaigning over comedy section commentary

Liam ‘Doon’ Donohoe, one of the editors of Honi Soit, has been formally sanctioned by the SRC Electoral Officer and suspended from campaigning due to a violation in the Week 7 edition of ‘Doon and Andy’s Hot Box’.

The article in question also breached Honi’s current policy regarding the election, in which campaigning editors “are formally conflicted off from … coverage of the SRC election”. The piece was sent to print by the eight remaining editors, as well as passing the SRC’s Directors of Student Publications, who review Honi each week for legal purposes.

A number of campaigners filed formal complaints with the Electoral Officer about the content of ‘Doon’s Hottest Box’, as it contains an undisclosed conflict of interest —Donohoe is a member of Grassroots and running on the ticket ‘Grassroots for Equity’.

EO Karen Chau justified her decision by referencing the SRC regulations, which stipulates that current Honi editors must declare any conflict of interest, as well as neither defaming nor endorsing any candidate during the annual election period.

The piece in question was published in Honi’s comedy section, Hunny. In this week’s ‘Hot Box’, Donohoe implied that the Advance campaign’s promotional video was in breach of the election rules, as “questions remain about how such a high value production could be possible with the SRC’s limits on campaign spending”.

He also satirically criticised the video, saying that it had “IMAX level resolution,” “panning with the fluidity of a dolly cart,” and “would have made even Michael Bay quiver with envy”.

As such, Donohoe has been suspended from campaigning for a period of 4 hours, from 11:00AM – 3:00PM on Monday 17 September. During this time, he cannot wear a campaign shirt, distribute campaign materials or publicly endorse a campaign.

Donohoe is the second campaigner to be sanctioned this year, with a Panda ticket docked for approximately fifteen minutes earlier this week for campaigning prior to the official physical campaign period. In a public response, Donohoe said that “his comments have no bearing on Honi’s coverage of the election and do not reflect Honi’s opinion”. He also announced that a correction will be published in ‘Hot Box’ in the next print edition.

Advance identify as an independent campaign, but have policies which are left-wing and support international students. As the election draws nearer, we’re bound to see more political infighting boil to the surface – but the Honi editors now knows to take extreme caution, as funny or satirical as the reporting may be.

Liam Donohoe and Lamya Rahman are formally conflicted off from Honi’s coverage of the SRC election, and are not party to any discussions that relate to it.