Presidential candidate Jas Kullar has lost all campaigning rights after failing to immediately comply with previous penalties.
Kullar received multiple penalties on March 10 for campaigning with unapproved methods and materials, including advertising an Apple AirPods giveaway for those who shared and liked his campaign Facebook event.
As a result, the AMS elections committee suspended his campaign rights from March 10 at 11 p.m. to March 13 at 11 p.m.
But Kullar and his team didn’t follow these penalties until late in the afternoon on March 11, following a phone call at around 5:50 p.m. with Elections Administrator Halla Bertrand.
On March 11, a sponsored Facebook ad for Kullar’s campaign event was still public at 4 p.m. — more than 17 hours after the committee handed down the campaign rights suspension. Kullar removed the ad after the phone call.
Kullar said in messages to The Ubyssey that he removed posts about the Airpods and the ad when the violations were pointed out, adding that he should have received a warning about the ad first.
“I did comply by removing all AirPod related material which shows I was trying to comply,” Kullar wrote. “... I should have been given a warning to take down my ad which when I was, I had taken it down right away.”
He added that the expectation for him and his volunteers to remove materials immediately was “unfair” because it took time to do so.
“As they are all students especially with midterms, they should have given us at least until the end of the day to have everything taken down, as only a minute amount of campaign material was still available,” he wrote.
The committee found that a registered volunteer was campaigning for him around 11:30 a.m on March 11. He said that the volunteer did not see his messages about the penalties until “around later noon,” causing him to post a story to campaign for Kullar.
Once again, Kullar said it is “unjust” that he is being penalized. The Candidate’s Handbook notes candidates are responsible for their volunteers’ conduct.
Kullar also made a presentation to the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) the same day, once again breaking the initial suspension of campaign rights. But according to him, his speech has been cleared by the Speaker of Council as long as he didn’t say “Vote for Me.”
SUS Speaker of Council Daniel Lam confirmed he had “misinterpreted” a ruling he received from Bertrand.
In a statement to The Ubyssey, Bertrand said the code in Section IX, 2. 6. vii is “very clear” regarding this violation.
“SUS Council is not offering endorsements, and as such, communicating platform points to a group via a speech is a breach of the terms of the previous violation document sent to him,” she wrote.
Kullar’s rights to campaign — including “all physical and digital materials, oral communication, and any actions taken by registered campaign volunteers” — are void until March 15 at 5 p.m, meaning he cannot campaign any further during the election. This also beats his own record for the longest penalty in this election cycle.
“I am being unjustly targeted,” Kullar wrote. “I just hope any other AMS Candidate isn’t treated in this manner. This precisely why the AMS needs change.”
“If Jas thinking either ruling is unfair, I encourage him to appeal them,” Bertrand responded.
This article has been updated to include Bertrand’s comment.