Like every year near the end of the winter semester, all positions on the VCSA Executive Council are up for election, with all full-time day students being eligible to run for any of the positions. The campaign period began on the April 11th, with elections scheduled for April 18 and 19. Only 4 positions were being contested, with the others being acclaimed.
However, one day before the scheduled vote, one of the candidates for President, Nicholas Ziss, was disqualified from the race by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO). The CEO put out a Facebook statement saying that Nicholas Ziss had started campaigning before the campaign period had begun. The Electoral committee had prior suspicions that Mr. Ziss had broken the rules, but due to lack of evidence, he was allowed to stay on the ballot. But, the CEO obtained a recording of the candidate knowingly breaking the rules, which lead to his disqualification. Mr. Ziss claimed the accusations were false, and that the recording was taken out of context. The CEO then postponed the election date to the 24th and 25th, to give more time to address the controversy.
Soon afterward, a lot of speculation erupted as to why Mr. Ziss was removed from the election, with some accusing the incumbent Executives of corruption and collaborating to disqualify Mr. Ziss. The VCSA held a press conference on April 23rd at 4 PM to address the accusations. The VCSA acknowledged that these elections were very disorganized, but the issues with the elections such as the disqualification of Mr.Ziss were the decision of the CEO and his committee, who are an independent from the VCSA, although the VCSA does choose the Electoral officer. Due to very vague bylaws, the Electoral officer can disqualify a candidate for whatever reason they want. Little is publicly known of the circumstances of Mr. Ziss’ disqualification, so it is hard to determine whether or not he was disqualified for a legitimate reason.
Nonetheless, elections continued without the presence of Mr. Ziss on the ballot. Students were sent electronic ballots via Omnivox on the 24th and the 25th. A technical issue arose when former students and all staff members were also sent ballots. The original vote was thus canceled, and all students were asked to recast their ballot, with new ballots being sent to them on the 26th. The results were unveiled on Facebook on the 27th.
The results are as follows (* denotes incumbents, but not necessarily of the same position):
Vanessa Pellicciotta* 1153 votes
Geeta Tewari 615 votes
Dylan Darragh* 743 votes
Marcus Kulczycki 595 votes
Gabriel Novachev 430 votes
Benjamin Stix* 889 votes
Markus Yanakoulias 879 votes
Community Coordinator (Top 2 elected):
Veronica Galavis 1418 votes
Alexander Kroitor 1201 votes
Houda Smail 917 votes
VCSA council of 2018-2019
President Vanessa Pellicciotta*
Vice President Dylan Darragh*
Financial Secretary Benjamin Stix*
Internal Affairs Officer Sabrina Sorger*
Academic Affairs Tristan Vieira
Communications Alannah Grant and Hummam Houara
Community Alexander Kroitor and Veronica Galavis
Clubs Bailey Habberfield-Smith* and Hanin Fakih
Written By: Mohammad-Afaaq Mansoor and India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner