Yale College Council Vice President EB Kelly ’03 told treasurer candidate Scott Simpson ’04 to remove his campaign posters yesterday because some administrators found them offensive, Simpson said.
Simpson said one of the posters said “If I win, I’m going to s— my pants” and the other depicted him drinking alcohol.
In Kelly’s e-mail to Simpson, she told him he could use the remaining 30 posters of his 300 poster allotment, but could not replace the allegedly offensive posters with new ones.
“I regret to inform you that I have again received complaints about your posters, this time from University administrators who feel that both the placement of the posters and the content of them (including profanity and alcohol) is inappropriate,” Kelly said in the e-mail. “I must therefore ask you to remove all of your posters (including those on sanctioned poster boards) immediately. If you would like to make some new, acceptable posters (you still have 30 left) please feel free to come by today. But otherwise all of your posters must come down right away.”
If Simpson does not comply with these requests, he may be formally reprimanded on the election ballot or disqualified from the election, Kelly said.
Kelly said she sent two e-mails to Simpson asking him to place his posters on official poster boards. She also notified other candidates of campaign violations in the same format. The other candidates complied with the request, but Kelly said she continued to receive complaints about Simpson’s posters and yesterday received a complaint about the content from the Yale College Dean’s Office.
Simpson said he will not remove the posters because the order was unfair and he thinks the YCC is trying to sabotage his campaign.
“I’m not going to take down the posters because for them to enforce that action they need a ruling by the election committee in a publicized open meeting,” Simpson said. “They would have to give me reasons why they said the posters are illegitimate besides citing anonymous University administrators.”
Kelly said the election committee had considered Simpson’s case. Simpson e-mailed Kelly to demand the committee publicly disclose the reasons why they asked him to take down the posters and allow him to replace the old posters with new ones.
The committee then decided it would hold a special poster stamping session for him, so that he could put up his remaining 30 allotted posters. Because she had not known about the rule barring images of alcohol in posters, Kelly said she would allow any other candidate to replace all of his or her offending posters. Since Simpson had repeated violations, the committee decided he could only put up the remaining 30 posters, she said.
Simpson said the election committee approved all his posters. He had been warned, he said, to remove some posters that he had hung on public street signs, a request with which he said he complied.
Simpson said he thinks that the YCC is too exclusive and that this is a plot to keep him out of the race.
“Part of my platform in writing has been that the YCC needs to open up, they need to promote more dialogue on campus, they need to concentrate on student life,” Simpson said. “Basically I see this as a campaign by the YCC election committee to shut outsiders out of the race. When my posters disappear and [treasurer candidate] Andrew Klaber’s are in their place, I don’t say anything.”
Kelly said she had not intended to go public with this reprimand, but Simpson himself contacted the Yale Daily News.
“I felt that the repeated nature of his offenses merited a more severe punishment, but I wanted to respect his efforts to adhere to the guidelines and was not going to go public with a reprimand,” Kelly said.