College Council probes potential OSL influence in treasurer election

Arrington Luck

College Council (CC) is currently looking into an email sent to all club sport athletes regarding the CC treasurer election and club sport funding by Kris Hoey, the assistant director for student organizations and clubs sport in the Office of Student Life (OSL), which some on CC believe may have influenced the outcome of the election. 

Hoey’s email did not explicitly support either candidate. The email, however, was read by some on CC as an implicit endorsement for the then-sailing club treasurer Jamie Vaccaro ’21.

Hoey’s email cited the recent push by CC to cut back on funding some high-cost club sport teams. “I know that CC has not been kind to some of our teams this year, and for that reason I can see where you may not want anything to do with this,” Hoey wrote. “But, it is for that very reason that you should vote and get some folks in there that will make a change in how things operate.”  

That night, Vaccaro replied all to Hoey’s email, sending to all club sport athletes an email about his candidacy for CC treasurer.  “Historically, club sports haven’t been the most active voter base for CC, and a lack of representation was one of the contributions to the current issue,” Vaccaro wrote.  “Please vote, especially if you dislike College Council and its actions. The only way to change the system is to vote.”

Vaccaro subsequently won his election against Sanket Patel ’22, garnering 223 votes to Patel’s 191.

CC is discussing this email from OSL as a potential inappropriate interference in the election. CC, however, has no plans to take action against Vaccaro.  Speaking on behalf of CC’s Executive Board, Solly Kasab ’21, vice president for communications, said that Vaccaro “did not ask or in any way direct [Hoey] to send this email… Jamie simply received an email, and he wanted to promote people voting… We see no grounds for impeachment or any disciplinary action.”

“The intent of my Feb. 7 email was to encourage the students I advise to vote in the CC elections,” Hoey wrote in an email to the Record.  “I didn’t realize this could be cause for concern.”

Kasab reiterated that while CC was not taking any action against Vaccaro, it is still following up with OSL. “In terms of OSL, that is something that we are looking into,” he said.

Vaccaro declined to comment.