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Image Credit: Cameron Samuel Keys

Class Act endorsements invalidated by investigator

Endorsements from Class Act for candidates running in the SU elections have been invalidated after an investigation by the elections conduct team. 

In an email to Class Act members, it was shared that the endorsement process had been found to “[involve] a degree of unfairness” alongside “some instances of procedural invalidity in breach of the election Regulations”.

The Election Rules state that, “Oxford SU Campaigns may only endorse a candidate at an Open Meeting following a democratic vote in which all Full Members of the Campaign can participate, and in which there is an option to make no endorsement.”

The endorsements originally favoured Elliot (Riz) Possnett for SU President, alongside Luca Di Bona for VP Activities and Communities, Joel Aston for VP Liberation and Equality, Eleanor Miller for VP UG Education and Access, Alfie Davis for VP Welfare and Harry McWilliam for Student Trustee.

The Oxford Student can exclusively reveal that on a group chat of Campaign Chairs, Alfie Davis, Chair of Class Act, told other chairs that they thought they “had maybe nine votes in the class act meeting it was almost all just committee [sic]”.

Another candidate, Luca Di Bona, Chair of Environmental Affairs Campaign, told the group chat that “Environmental affairs had one person ‘vote'”. The Environmental Affairs Campaign endorsed Di Bona.

A number of other Campaigns made endorsements, but no Campaign other than the Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality endorsed any candidate outside of the six endorsed by Class Act.

Voting has already opened in the elections, with more than 3500 students having already cast their votes before Class Act’s endorsements were rescinded. Their email pointed out that voters could change their votes until the close of voting at 18:00 tonight. They noted that the retraction was “not a statement as to any Candidate’s suitability”.

One candidate for President, Shermar Pryce, commented “It’s a real shame that the Class Act campaign has operated in such a dubious manner, especially while being very aware of how influential they are as an organisation.” 

He further commented, “I’m also disappointed by what I consider to be a subpar response to this by the SU. The potential effects of this fraudulent endorsement on the final results of this election are incalculable, bringing the entire electoral process into question.”

He noted, “The SU already has a massive problem with engagement and approval amongst students, the damage this scandal will cause on these fronts will no doubt be enormous.”

The SU told The Oxford Student “The elections conduct team received a complaint regarding conduct in the elections and specifically in relation to endorsements emails sent by the Class Act Campaign. The investigation found that there had been a technical breach of the Regulations. However, the investigator was satisfied with the reasons provided and that the incident had not compromised the integrity of the election so no further action was taken beyond the endorsements being invalidated and a warning issued.”

Class Act have been approached for comment.