Best Answer

This is a sticky situation. The student running is wanting to be the face of the students so he could be a public official, in that case there are a few rules about it. Let's pretend for a moment that he would be considered a public official:

The victim would have to prove:

a) Falsity: the statement must be false. (depends on if the candidate has AIDS)

b) Identity: the candidate was identifiable. (which he is)

c) Publication: at least one other person saw it. (which would happen)

d) Fault: the person must have known that the information was false at the time of broadcast or performance, OR was reckless in gathering information and performed wrong information. (once again depends on if the info is false)

e) Actual malice: that the skit was intending harm on the individual (obvious malice)

f) Harm: in defamation suits, the victim must receive some quantifiable harm (money) from the act. (depends on how the outcome unfolds)

In this case, I would see it possible that a defamation via slander could be made.

Now, another problem comes into play. Their is a fair amount of ability for people to parody public figures, otherwise Saturday Night Live would be in some trouble. So that limit would have to be set by the courts, unless they have already done so.

Now let's pretend that because the person is a student and therefore under the jurisdiction of the school/university, and therefore a private citizen.

Because private citizens aren't asking for their lives to be broadcast, they are given extra protection than those that are putting themselves in the public light.

They can file what are called privacy torts:

1) Publication of private facts: if he does have AIDS and counts as a private person, then he has a case.

2) He could also file for a intrusion to seclusion tort: in other words, if the way the opponent found out about the AIDS is by hacking the kids computer, or breaking into his home, etc., then he also has a case.

Another way is 3) False Light: depicting him as something he is not, like using the fact he has AIDS to make him seem gay or deformed could prove a case.

Or he could file 4) appropriation: everyone has a right to his/her name and personality, using his name and the fact that he has AIDS could prove that the opponent running the skit was using the AIDS guy's personality (if you want to call it that) to benefit him without paying him, then he could have a case here. Basically, everyone has a right to make money/power off of his/her name.

Or, the person could fight this and win off something random, who knows with the courts these days.

User Avatar

Wiki User

12y ago
This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: Could a college student running for student body president be considered a public official and would it be actionable per se as slander if the rival candidate said he has AIDS in a campaign skit?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass
Related questions

Did sargent shriver make a bid for president?

Yes. In 1976, Shriver announced that he was a candidate for president. His campaign died quickly and he was never considered to be a contender for the nomination.

When does the campaign for the 2012 presidential elections start?

The Republican candidate cannot start his presidential campaign until a Republican candidate is selected. The President probably won't start his campaign until he knows exactly who he will be running against.

Was favored in the South as a candidate for President in 1824s but was too ill to campaign much?

William crawford

What is a purpose of a professional politician's campaign?

To get a particular candidate elected to a particular office. If that candidate does not get elected to the office they seek, he or she does not get to serve.

Can a presidential candidate use his own money to fund his campaign?

Yes. It's not considered a "campaign contribution", so it isn't subject to the normal restrictions. If a candidate wants to find his campaign entirely by himself, it's perfectly legal for him to do so.

Who can run in a campaign for presidency?

In a campaign for presidency, people who are nominated as a candidate to represent a certain group or organization can run for president. These people are loyal to the cause and have many supporters.

What two ways can you support a candidate?

You can support a candidate by working for the campaign or donating money to the campaign.

Who can campaign contributions to a presidential candidate?

Any American can make campaign contributions to a presidential candidate.

What has to occur before a presidential candidate from either of the two major parties can campaign in the national election?

In order to run for president in November, a candidate must first be nominated by his party.

The candidate's closest advisor in a campaign is the?

his /her Campaign manager

Who can make campaign contributions to a presidential candidate?

Any American can make campaign contributions to a presidential candidate.

Why would a candidate choose not to campaign in a state?

If a state is considered aas hopeless, a candidate might not campaign there. If victory seems certain in a state, the candidate might also skip that state, but would probably make a token appearance or two to avoid offending anyone or to help Congressional candidates win.