Disclaimer: Honi editors Pranay Jha, Nell O’Grady, and Liam Thorne are not involved in USU Board Election coverage.
SRC President Jacky He has censored a live blog post made by Honi Soit regarding his actions towards rival campaigners during the final day of the USU Board election.
At roughly 10am this morning, USU Board candidate Ruolin (Irene) Ma contacted Honi and alleged that He had harassed and shouted at her campaigners. It was confirmed by sources on the ground that He had been involved in particularly aggressive contestations and had raised his voice to drown out Ma’s campaigners. Honi then reported in its live blog that these allegations had been received, but failed to identify the source of the allegations.
At 11:32am, Honi was advised by the Publications Managers of the SRC that He had instructed them to redact the post. Publications Managers are bound to follow the instructions of the President. He did not request an amendment or seek to clarify the allegations before taking this step. No attempts to consult with Honi Editors were made.
After ordering the redaction, He told Honi, “If I haven’t done something, I haven’t done it and I don’t think it is right to report rumors [sic] before they are even confirmed.”
Ruolin Ma refused to provide formal comment but asserted the veracity of her allegations.
The incident occurred the day after Honi reported other campaign altercations involving He. On Tuesday, the SRC President engaged in heated contestation with Ruolin Ma campaigner and USU Board Director Decheng Sun. Both accused each other of physically touching one another and the conflict concluded with He shouting “don’t touch me!” at Sun.
The last time He redacted Honi was in March when he falsely claimed in his own President’s report that the SRC provides mental health counselling services.
He’s censorship also comes one week after SRC regulations expanding the power of the Electoral Officer to indefinitely suspend Honi Editors failed to pass Council. The regulations are expected to pass at the next meeting.