A complaint by Alex Guite, leader of the NUS 'Yes' campaign, led to the removal of Guildsheet from around College yesterday. Guildsheet was distributed around 6pm on Tuesday evening and a complaint was promptly made. Between 10am and noon yesterday the magazine was removed from circulation under the instruction of returning officer Jon Matthews.
Mr Matthews took the decision to impound Guildsheet after the 'No' campaign submitted an advertisement, but the 'Yes' campaign failed to do so. The root of the argument was that the editor, Tristan Sherliker, should have contacted the 'Yes' campaign to inform them that advertising in Guildsheet was possible and the 'No' campaign had submitted something.
The election regulations state that every candidate in an election must be given equal access to the media and notify the other party of any interview or debate taking place. Matthews was advised by a member of staff that this rule had been interpreted by former President Mustafa Arif to include advertisements. No written documentation of this exists and Mr Arif, when contacted by Live!, stated "I made no such interpretation". In addition the media were not advised of this (incorrect) interpretation before the referendum started. Mr Matthews has been informed of this fact however Guildsheet remains impounded.
Sherliker has responded, arguing that one of the main players in the 'Yes' campaign, John Collins, is a former Guildsheet editor and would be well aware that Guildsheet would be publishing during November and accepting adverts. Ashley Brown, Editor of Guildsheet's sister publication Live! described the decision as "ridiculous" and the complaint as "petty and vindictive, given that members of the 'Yes' campaign have previously worked on Guildsheet".
Guildsheet will be released on Friday.