By Rylee Seavers | Staff Writer
Old River Winfree senior and Internal Vice President Joel Polvado was found guilty on March 31 of sending a campaign Snapchat from his student government office, according to the official opinion of the Student Court. Sanctions were imposed on the Polvado campaign, requiring its official campaign social media accounts to be inactive from Tuesday to Thursday, according to the official opinion of the Student Court.
This ruling comes three days after sanctions were imposed on the Dickerson campaign for posting two unapproved campaign videos to official campaign social media accounts.
Polvado sent a Snapchat featuring a dog wearing a Polvado campaign button with text asking students to support his campaign, according to the official opinion of the Student Court.
The Dickerson campaign stated at the hearing that the Snapchat was taken in Polvado’s student government office and presented a witness that identified the office as Polvado’s, said Waco senior Elliott Riches, council to the Dickerson campaign.
The Polvado campaign contested these claims in the hearing, alleging that there is nothing in the Snapchat that links directly to Polvado’s student government position or office, said Mukwonago junior Andrew Patterson, council to the Polvado campaign.
The Dickerson campaign objected to the Polvado campaign presenting testimony regarding the Snapchat during the hearing because any witnesses would not have had firsthand knowledge of the Snapchat, and the electoral commission agreed, Riches said.
Patterson would not confirm if the Snapchat was actually taken in Polvado’s office.
Baylor’s electoral code states, “No candidate or campaign team member may use the Student Government Office, resources, or privilege for their re-election campaign, or for the campaign of any other candidate.”
The Electoral Commission found Polvado guilty of violating the electoral code on the grounds that the photo was taken in his internal vice president office as part of his campaign for student body president.
The claim was filed by the Dickerson campaign after campaign staffers saw the snap and recognized that Polvado was in his student government office, a violation of the electoral code, Riches said.
Riches said that it is important that all campaigns follow the electoral code to ensure that election of student body officers is a fair process. This is especially important under the circumstances that this claim was filed, Riches said, to ensure that candidates who are already members of student government do not use their offices and positions as an advantage for election.
“That’s an advantage that certain candidates don’t have. Certain candidates aren’t going to be able to use a student government office,” Riches said.
Patterson said the Snapchat was not premeditated, and Polvado had no intention of using his position as an advantage in the campaign. The campaign considered appealing to the electoral commission’s ruling but decided to accept the ruling and not drag out the claim, Patterson said.