KUnity responded to opposing coalition Act Up KU’s allegations of election violations and subsequent calls for their disqualification in a response submitted to the Student Trial Court Monday afternoon.
The original complaint, filed by Act Up KU Student Body Vice Presidential candidate Ethan Roark, alleged that KUnity violated the Senate’s election rules against using food or drink to campaign in a recent Instagram post. Additionally, Roark alleged that KUnity Presidential Candidate Andrew Moore violated election rules by texting a group chat to receive support after the election rules dictated campaigning was over.
KUnity responded to the complaint that they violated rules against using food or drink to campaign by arguing the coalition itself was not providing food or drink to students.
“The alleged ‘violations’ (businesses independently deciding to discount the meals of people with a KUnity Button) are private decisions made by entities with no direct relationship to the coalition,” KUnity said in response to the allegations.
They added any potential violation was purely accidental, and they would rescind any community partnerships if it was found by the Student Trial Court to violate the election code.
Additionally, they argued Act Up KU could not file three separate violations (one for each business partnership) because election rules say violations of the same nature that occur within two hours of each other should be filed as one violation.
In response to the allegation that Moore campaigned during election week, KUnity argued students have historically engaged in similar conduct, and ActUpKU campaign leaders have similarly posted in group chats urging people to vote for the coalition.
“Act Up KU has engaged in the same type of behavior,” KUnity said. “Not only were they the first group to allege this violation, but according to Evidence 4, everyone in their GroupMe was aware of the rule against promoting candidates in group chats, and yet they acted contrary to this rule.”
KUnity also argued the Student Trial Court did not have the authority to police private conversations between students.
“The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech, and for the Trial Court to curtail students’ freedom of speech would require a drastically expanded oversight ability to enforce such standards throughout the communications between the over 25,000 students enrolled at the University of Kansas,” they said.
Voting in the election runs until April 24 at 6 p.m. KU students can vote on Rock Chalk Central.