Ponter/Kristobak Ticket Fined for Sidewalk Chalk Gaffe
While traveling to class today, you may have seen multiple sidewalk chalk drawings around campus, a little viral marketing attempt on the part of the the Evan Ponter/Ryan Kristobak UPUA presidential campaign. As it turns out, this publicity seeking act violates both Penn State regulations and UPUA Elections policy, and the ticket is facing a $30 fine from their elections budget of $600. In addition, University Police Services have fined Ponter $140 in cleanup fees for the chalk around the HUB. Ponter says that he plans to plead guilty to the charges.
UPUA election code byline 5.05.03 states: “Candidates and Campaigns shall be required to adhere to all University Policies and all Local, State, and Federal Laws. Additionally, Candidates shall not engage in any of the following: Posting campaign paraphernalia on surfaces specifically prohibited by University Policy.”
In the University Policies and Rules for Student Organizations, section 6.7.d states, “Sidewalk chalk is not permitted on University property. ”
The Ponter campaign responded to the violation on their Facebook page earlier this afternoon:
As I am sure many of you have noticed, many of the pathways of the campus have been chalked in support of our campaign. We will not deny that is was us who did it, and we would like to explain why.
At one point in time, the Penn State student government used its’ position to empower the students. It was they who decided the laws bound to the students and kept the administration in check. As it is now, UPUA no longer contains the courage to stand up to an administration that, as of late, has grievously failed every student, alumnus, and supporter of Penn State.
While we know that chalking is by no means the core of the problem, why shouldn’t students be allowed to chalk on campus? Chalking is one of the most effective means to spread both student and organization endeavors to better the Penn State experience. Further, chalking is a fun method of artistic expression that can only, as long as it is not used to attack another, beautify our campus. Chalk is impermanent, and so if we want to chalk our campus, there is no reason we should not be allowed to.
UPUA candidates always promise you that they will bring the changes you see necessary at Penn State, and when given the chance, quite often shy away. We want to show you that if we are elected, the student voice will resound once again.
In a call placed to the campaign, Ponter admitted to authorizing and helping with the drawings late last night. However, if the Facebook post is any indication, he simply doesn’t care that this form of advertising is against the rules and described the fines as “totally worth it.” This is a blatant violation of UPUA and University policy, and it will be up to voters to determine if the campaign’s apathetic view toward the rules is an asset or a vice.
UPUA election day is set for March 28, and the first debate will be held tonight at 8 PM in the HUB.
*Disclaimer: Evan Ponter and Ryan Kristobak are Onward State staff members.