Two freshman College Council (CC) representatives have challenged Radhika Kadakia’s (20C) eligibility for candidacy in the CC presidential race, according to Chair of the Elections Board Betty Zhang (20C).
In their written challenge to the Elections Board, CC freshman representatives Alec Giufurta (21C) and Lyndsey Garbee (21C) said they were challenging Kadakia’s candidacy “for the sake of maintaining a legitimate organization of elected institutions and members.”
Kadakia missed the March 18 deadline to declare her candidacy, but the Elections Board allowed her to declare her candidacy late in a 5-0 decision on March 19. After CC Vice President Naman Jain (18C) told Zhang that there were no other candidates except Tiffany Haas (19C), Zhang did not independently confirm. In fact, Paolo Mutia (17Ox, 19C) had also declared to run for CC president. Zhang told the Wheel that the Board also did not think it would have been fair to prohibit Kadakia from running since the Board had already granted an exception for SGA presidential candidate Mario Karras (17Ox, 19B).
Giufurta and Garbee cited the Elections Board’s failure to verify that there were other candidates running for CC president before allowing Kadakia to run as a “shocking oversight.” Zhang said the Board allowed Kadakia’s candidacy in part because the Board wrongly believed that the race would have been uncontested with only Tiffany Haas (19C) running if it had not allowed Kadakia to run.
Additionally, Giufurta and Garbee argued that the Elections Board’s decision to unanimously prohibit Sania Chandrani’s (19B) candidacy for SGA president should have also applied to Kadakia. The Board denied Chandrani’s candidacy because she did not immediately contact the chair after receiving an expired form to declare her candidacy. Chandrani mistakenly believed that her email expressing interest in running was sufficient to formally declare.
Kadakia called her late declaration a misunderstanding. She thought she had declared her candidacy at a mandatory information session for candidates, but all students were also required to fill out a separate Google Form to officially register their candidacy.
“When I signed in at the info session, I thought I was declaring my candidacy,” Kadakia said. “It was a genuine mistake on my part and a misunderstanding … I understand that people have their complaints, but I’ve been so passionate about this position and I’ve been thinking about it for the last two months.”
The Constitutional Council will hear the challenge against the Board’s decision in Kadakia’s case. Chief Justice Talia Burstein (18C) told the Wheel that she had not scheduled a hearing date as of March 27 at 11:35 p.m.
When asked if the Elections Board would have allowed Kadakia to run if it had not allowed Karras to run in the election, Zhang said, “I would say no.”