By Saba Mann and Hannah Joseph | March 29, 2021
Bryan Ramsaran and Peter Moschovitis from the Unite UA ticket won the race for president and vice president of the UAlbany Student Association for 2021-2022, an outcome which has sparked tension between them and the opposing candidates, who have accused Ramsaran and Moschovitis of illegal campaigning and violations of SA election guidelines.
The final tally of votes left a slim margin for victory, with Ramsaran netting 846 votes and the For the People ticket presidential candidate Abdoullah Goudiaby and vice presidential candidate Mya Williams garnering 806 votes.
The narrow win with the 50.7 percent share of the over 1,600 students who participated in the election is considered to be one of the closest SA general election results in history.
The elections commission released the results Friday at a live event in the Campus Center Auditorium.
However, while the Unite UA ticket saw success at the top of the ticket, The For the People ticket now holds a 77 percent super-majority in the Senate, holding at least one seat in every division except Social Sciences.
This sets the stage for a potentially contentious, divided student government for the coming SA term.
Upon taking office, the first thing Ramsaran plans on doing is fixing the academic support center for the senate and cutting his own stipend, hoping to fit it into the budget to make menstrual products and contraceptives available in all Campus Center bathrooms.
Ramsaran also apologized for any grievances he may have caused as Student Association Chairman.
“We’re here to unite and we can move past that, and we all have our own goals and I’m here to advocate and be there for every single goal we all have,” Ramsaran declared.
Ramsaran also said he’s willing to work with his opponents if need be.
“If we have ideas that we can honestly work on and come to compromises because that’s what we’re here to do,” Ramsaran said.
The first action Moschovitis as vice president intends on doing is ensuring there is a Greek life director. He also hopes to bring spirit back to campus post-pandemic.
Both avoided answering the question of the controversy surrounding their involvement with unrecognized Greek life organizations.
After declining to speak to the ASP on the night of the release of the election results, Goudiaby finally broke his silence on his loss in an Instagram live stream Sunday night, sparking the ‘#NotMyUA' movement. The movement consists of students who are concerned with the legitimacy of the election results.
A statement of the ‘#NotMyUA’ movement’s concerns posted on Instagram by Goudiaby levied a series of allegations against Ramsaran and Moschovistis for using bribery to solicit votes from student organizations, blackmailing students in exchange for support, early and unauthorized campaigning, and the mobilization of unrecognized Greek organizations.
At the time of this publication, no formal investigation into these allegations has been announced, nor has any evidence providing proof of said allegations been made public.
The election results have not yet been released to the student body via email by the SA Elections Commission or sitting SA President Damilola Adesanya, an action required by an SA bylaw to be carried out “only when they have been completely verified.”
‘#NotMyUA’ held a protest on Monday at 1pm outside at the Campus Center Fountain, as announced by Goudiaby via Instagram.
In addition to the more controversial SA elections, 92 percent of student voters opted to hold a Constitutional Convention for the 2021-2022 academic year. Additionally, the student activity fee was voted mandatory by a 53 percent majority.