By Meghan Brink | April 6, 2021
The Student Association Elections Commission has begun the process of the investigation into allegations of rogue Greek life involvement, harassment, and bribery by the Ramsaran-Moschovitis ticket.
“The number and severity of these allegations is really unprecedented,” said SA Elections Commission Chairwoman Ana Quian. "The commission has never had to conduct an investigation in this way really ever.”
The allegations being brought before the Commission differ slightly from those brought forward by the #NotMyUA movement, and formal announcement of these allegations will be announced by the Commission to the student population via email is in the works, said Quian.
Quian acknowledged some of the confusion surrounding a rumored suspension of the Ramsaran-Moschovitis ticket by the Commission on allegations of early campaigning.
According to Quian, the Commission received a voice recording of a statement made by an unnamed student organization’s President to their e-board group chat. The individual in the recording mentioned that they were approached by Ramsaran requesting support for his campaign, and that Ramsaran was interested in having an individual from the organization run on the UnitedUA ticket.
According to SA by-laws, candidates are prohibited from starting campaigning before meeting with the Commission in a formal candidate's meeting. The message in question was timestamped before the candidate's meeting of this election cycle.
“We received that, and then based on that we ruled to levy a two day suspension against Peter and Bryan,” said Quian. “That would stop them from midnight that night from campaigning for 48 hours.”
These sanctions were initiated by the Commission to the Ramsaran-Moschovitis on March 19th at 4pm. However, the sanctions were reserved by the Commission later that night shortly after the second Presidential and Vice Presidential debate, pending further evidence of primary proof that either of the two incited the campaign endorsement request to the unnamed President of the student organization.
“I messed up, and I am able to take accountability for that,” said Quian.
Although early campaigning was one of the allegations against Ramsaran-Moschovitis mentioned by the #NotMyUA movement, according to Quian, this allegation will not be reevaluated by the Commission during the current investigation.
The complaints to the Elections Commission which form the three allegations being made to the Ramsaran-Moschovitis ticket were submitted via sources unrelated to the For the People Ticket nor the runner-up Presidential candidate Abdoullah Goudiaby, according to Quian. Quian stated that evidence of these complaints will eventually be released to the public, however, for now they will remain within possession of the Elections Commission until a method to keep the sources anonymous is found.
Evidence pertaining to the allegation of rogue Greek life involvement by Ramsaran-Moschovitis was submitted to the Elections Commission via a “dumby email” early in the campaign cycle.
Quian said, “We (the Elections Commission) didn't know what to do with it because we were initially told we couldn’t pass sanctions based on it.”
However, later the Commission reevaluated the SA by-laws, finding that, “candidates are obligated to abide by the school’s code of conduct while campaigning,” leading the evidence to be reevaluated in the current investigation.
The second allegation being brought against Ramsaran-Moschovitis to the Commission is of failure to adhere to the school’s code of conduct relating to harassment while campaigning.
“That is in reference to what was described as ‘blackmail’ on candidate Goudiaby’s live stream,” clarified Quian.
The final allegation of bribery, Quian stated, was the only allegation to be brought forward to the Commission proceeding the conclusion of the presidential election.
“It isn’t like we passed the results knowing the concerns, we didn’t even know about these things until after the reveal,” said Quian.
The main piece of evidence in the allegations of bribery is a screenshot of a GroupMe message sent to the UAlbany Cryptocurrency Club by Ramsaran, which stated, “No f------ more team here’s what I got for y’all, FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SHOULD I WIN 40 F------- THOUSAND TO CRYPTO MINING RIGS TO FINALLY MAKE SOME BREAD.”
(Use of profanity in the message by Ramsaran has been censored by the ASP).
In reference to the message, Quian stated, “I am not familiar with cryptocurrency, it just looked like normal campaigning to me, and then I read it close and was like ‘wait a minute.’”
Quian stated that although the investigation has begun, it is in its “baby stages,” and that the commission is, “in the process of figuring out how to do the legwork before we go into the hearing.”