COC election results stand

The Division of Student Affairs and the Class Officer Collective’s (COC) have both closed their investigation into COC’s election.

The hacking allegations were made on Sept. 11 by first year student Connor Zhu, who was a candidate in the race for president of the class of 2021.

Zhu received confirmation that the investigation was closed through an email from Lou Stark, the vice president of Student Affairs, which stated that, “After personally speaking with our Web Platform Administrator (who spoke with University Technology and representatives of OrgSync) and our Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards who is investigating the matter, I have concluded that it is highly unlikely that hacking or tampering of any kind effected the outcome of the election.”

Zhu asserts that his main concern in reporting the possible hacking was not the election results, but that the process of a free and fair election be respected. He believes that, in light of the investigation, the election results should not stand and paper ballots should instead be used in order for students’ to have confidence in the results, despite the investigation’s conclusion.

“[My supporters’ concerns were that] the school has a tendency to conclude the situation in order to appease students, but I don’t think so. I believe that as [a highly ranked institution] it holds the students’ opinions as very valuable,” Zhu said. “[Some people] have misunderstood me and think I could just not get over a loss, but I am just concerned for the fairness of the election and reputation of Case Western Reserve University.”

Zhu asserted that sometimes, students should stand up instead of standing by as things happen around them, and says this is one of the reasons he decided to come forward and initiate the investigation.

Priya Khullar, Election Commissioner and marketing officer for COC, said in a statement “It has been determined that there was no interference with the election, therefore results will stand. The Class Officer Collective is looking forward to putting this behind us and we are excited to move forward this semester with all the wonderful events we have planned for our student body and our individual classes.”

Now that it has been concluded that hacking of the student election did not take place, Zhu expressed a desire to present himself in what he believes is a more positive light to the CWRU community.

“I am very involved on campus,” Zhu said.

As a member of the Chinese Student Association, he cites the diversity of COC as one of the reasons he wished to run for president of the class of 2021.

He said, “I am [very concerned with] diversity and inclusion…I believe that you cannot compare people. Nobody is better, [just different].”