When a group of Yale students fielded the first Republican candidate for Ward One alderman of New Haven, Conn., in 20 years, some members of the Yale administration sought to silence their campaigning. Ben Mallet, a sophomore at Yale and the campaign manager for candidate Paul Chandler, was asked to take down his campaign signs and threatened with disciplinary action if he failed to do so. While he broke Yale’s rules on posters and banners, such rules are commonly violated and were also broken by the Democratic campaign, which faced no similar threats.
Associate Dean for Student Organizations John Meeske contacted Mallet and Chandler in the evening in late October to request that they remove, by 8:30 the next morning, all posters in the administrative building where Meeske worked. Mallet failed to do so, and Meeske reported him to ExCom.
In another incident, Schottenfeld [the master of Mallet’s residential college] entered Mallet’s room, accompanied by a police officer, to remove the campaign banner hanging from Mallet’s window. He had previously asked Mallet to take it down himself. After removing the banner, Schottenfeld referred Mallet to ExCom.
I asked Mallet if he knowingly violated undergraduate regulations. “I don’t contest my guilt,” he says. “I did break the regulations. I only contest the fairness with which the regulations were enforced as well as the behavior of the administration throughout the process.”
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