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USG candidates start a fundraising campaign before official start date

Stephen Post and Lauren Todd, two Ohio State students listed as presidential and vice presidential candidates on a ticket for Undergraduate Student Government, have started a fundraising campaign.

The official start date for USG campaigns is Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. A video posted to Facebook Wednesday night included a link to a website where donations could be made to Post and Todd to support their “mission,” although the post and video never explicitly mentions USG, the presidential campaign, or voting.

According to the USG bylaws, “Candidates, teams and slates may not overtly act to gain votes, or solicit for votes before the approved campaigning season begins.”

According to the bylaws, campaign materials, including a website, may be produced prior to the official start date. However, these materials are not to be distributed or publicly available before campaigning begins.

The Facebook post contains vague goals and language, such as the following:

“We have great strides to make in making a diploma more affordable, campus more inclusive, and providing more opportunities than we’ve been offered. We have a long way to go, but we’re only getting started.”

It goes on to direct those who want to “support our mission” to a donation page titled, “Help Stephen Post & Lauren Todd Make a Difference at OSU!”

Comments on the donation page do mention a campaign, although there is no mention of USG.

“Stephen, Best of luck with the campaign! Love, Auntie Beth,” reads a comment from a Mary Beth Vonder Meulen.

An $800 donation from a Karen Todd reads, “Good luck, Sweetie Boo.”

According to the donation page, that donation was given one week ago, indicating the page has been active since at least then.

As of Wednesday evening, $925 of the $2,000 goal had been raised. The cap for USG presidential campaign spending is $4,000.

Gerard Basalla, president of USG and fourth-year in political science and strategic communication, deferred comment to USG’s Judiciary Panel.

Neither Post nor Todd immediately returned a request for comment.


  1. This is why USG has a two week campaign period. Year long campaigns are toxic to the organization and to the university as a whole.

    Shame on Stephen and Lauren for trying to get around the rules!!! This is definitely early campaigning. Hopefully the Judicial Panel disqualifies them!

    • Ummmm sorry that these two candidates don’t have rich ass white parents who can provide them with money? I have the utmost respect for these two who are just trying to fundraise without taking an easy way out and this is not campaigning check the bylaws

  2. The United Project

    Wow USG’s not corrupt at all! Seriously though this campaign sounds like they’re trying to rip off Donald Trump’s campaign model by doing things so egregiously against the rules and milking the free publicity that comes with it… no wonder they’re doing that though if they’re this desperate for money.

    • Please stop using my organization’s name. No one from our organization has been approved to publically support a campaign on behalf of the United Project.

      Jack Brandl

      United Project, President

  3. Breaking bylaws to get ahead of the competition? Rookie move. Rather than win them votes it just shows they aren’t ready to head USG. Sorry Auntie Beth and Karen, maybe you’re ‘sweetie boo’ can run again next year when they read up on how to run an actual campaign.

  4. Honestly disgusted by this. The Judicial Panel needs to take action. A lack of action makes them look weak.

  5. The Judicial Panel should immediately take action or face impeachment!

  6. Shame! I did not know elections are going on or who the canadiates were. As a underrepresented student here at OSU I personally do not have all the privileges that others have. All I want is a equal chance at doing whatever I want to do. I feel so bad for anyone else who is running 🙁 this is so unfair.

    • You should watch their video. As an underrepresented student, you should acknowledge the fact that they are here to give YOU an equal chance. Wake up and you might just catch yourself casting a vote for these two.

  7. This is a non-issue. Who is “overtly gaining or soliciting votes” by fundraising? Clearly Auntie Beth can’t vote lol…

  8. The article clearly states that the video/donating site never mention USG, elections, or voting. No bylaw violations here. Next!

  9. This is such a disgrace and a blatant violation of the rules. I hope that the Judicial Panel takes action very quickly.

  10. The Chief Justice of the JP is in Stephen’s fraternity so I doubt they’ll do anything. It is so sad that we finally have an honest USG representing us this year that could be corrupted again by these two. I know who I WON’T be voting for…..

  11. I think the biggest concern is that they’re scrambling for money so late in the game that they have to make a public fundraising page. I don’t think they’ll need any violations to lose this race.

  12. Inaugurate? My ass...

    Stephen Post and Lauren Todd will drop out of this race immediately if they have any respect for this University. Shameful!

  13. I highly doubt that the Judicial Panel will do anything considering that half of them are in Stephen’s fraternity.

  14. This is absolutely discrediting the validity of OSU elections. We already have enough turmoil after the national elections, do we want to bring that to our beloved OSU? Whether or not they broke any bylaws is irrelevant, they’re destroying the sanctity of student elections and cheating the system. Another Donald Trump much?

  15. Students can’t share a video about why they love Ohio State? Campaigns are allowed to fundraise as well, I am really not sure where the controversy or explicit violation is here.

  16. Whoever is in charge of this university should really do something about this.

  17. Read the bylaws before you comment about corruption, there is no violation regardless of how hard you try to spin in…

  18. Burnt Out 4th Year

    Remember Abby and Abby’s campaign? Lots of rule breakers from that team are so eager to attack Stephen and Lauren. Don’t know anything about them but lol at the Abby Abby robots attacking people for doing the same nonsense they did

  19. Not quite sure how an article about nothing got posted like this. At least claim alleged violations and wait til the JP responds.

  20. Didn’t realize people cared about USG, especially to the point of donating/spending money.

    • What is the point of USG for real?

      What is the actual point of USG? I actually have no idea what they do for our campus. Can The Lantern please do some journalism and analyze the percentage of USGs budget that actually benefits the student body and not the elected officials? I did a quick look at their budget for 2015/16 and it looked like they spent over $200,000, most of which went to paying for summits and other dumb things for the officials…I honestly feel like this money would be better spent on providing a scholarship to someone…I’ve been here 4 years and I have no clue what USG has ever done, surely that is a problem.

  21. *busts out popcorn*

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