Penny campaign found in violation on one of three complaints heard Wednesday


Going into Wednesday night, student body presidential candidate Jansen Penny’s campaign faced three hearings on three allegations of elections violations, but coming out of three hearings late Wednesday night, the campaign was only found in violation on one of the counts.

The first violation was related to a photograph —now removed— from the personal Instagram of Ali Karamali, vice presidential candidate and junior in chemical engineering. The photo featured Penny, chair of the Privilege Fee Committee and junior in industrial engineering, and Karamali in campaign shirts on a golf cart belonging to K-State Libraries. Their campaign logo was posted on the windshield of the cart.

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The now-deleted instagram post resulted in a violation against the Penny campaign. (Courtesy Screenshot)

The campaign was found in violation “because the cart shown in the photograph is campus property and the campaign prop featured is leaned against said property.”

As a result, the campaign is no longer allowed to use the prop that was used in the photo.

A complaint alleging that Sadie Polson, campaign manager for the Penny campaign and senior in marketing, had encouraged “the commission of a major offense” was overruled. The complaint was due to the possible AirDropping of campaign materials related to a previous complaint heard on Feb. 14 in which the campaign was also not found in violation.

“Even if airdropping had occurred, the board determined that that would not be a major violation under the statutes,” the determination reads.

Another complaint referenced sidewalk chalking that Olivia Pruss, campaign member and junior and biology, did some time after 10 p.m. on Feb. 12. The chalk pointed at pre-existing chalk for the Kelly-Spencer campaign and said “or Penny for realistic, longlasting CHANGE!”

Sidewalk chalk done by a Penny campaign member pointing at pre-existing chalk from the Kelly campaign. (Courtesy photo)

The campaign was not found in violation of distributing campaign materials or partaking in activities “that are disorderly, lewd or indecent” or that “breach the peace.”

“Though the chalking was in opposition to the Kelly Spencer Campaign it did not use any language that the board believed would be a violation,” the determination reads.

Alec Hildreth, senior in marketing, filed all three complaints heard on Feb. 20 but was not present for any of the hearings.

These hearings bring the number of violations heard against the campaign to four in under 24 hours.

“The one we are in violation of with the photo prop, we are not appealing,” Penny said via text. “We were fully transparent with the Elections Committee and we respect the decision they came to.”

My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.