The never ending saga that is WUSA has claimed its latest victim, with Chloe Rafferty ousted from the presidency of the Wollongong Undergraduate Student Association.
Rafferty only just took hold of the top job following elections in September and October.
But on Monday she was booted out for ‘’contravening the Election Code of Conduct by campaigning in classrooms before and during the election period and after being warned by the Returning Officer not to do so’’.
University of Wollongong management also disqualified from the election the presidential candidate from the Revolution Group.
It was found that this candidate and a candidate from the Save Our Union Group had engaged in conduct ‘’which could prejudice the election by seeking to subvert the succession of elected candidates to the 2018 WUSA Council’’.
UOW took this ‘’decisive action’’ to enforce the WUSA Electoral Regulations following a formal appeals process.
It’s unfortunate to see circumstances where candidates’ own conduct disqualifies them from taking up the positions for which they would have otherwise been elected...Theresa Hoynes
Appeals lodged by candidates in the dominant Save our Union and Revolution groups were heard by a formal WUSA Appeals Panel chaired by UOW Director of Academic Quality and Standards.
The Appeals Panel considered evidence and interviewed students named in the appeals before making its findings.
Aside from the position of president, the university confirmed that the remaining candidates elected during the WUSA online elections are duly elected.
UOW Acting Chief Administrative Officer, Theresa Hoynes, described the circumstances following these latest elections as unfortunate but necessary.
‘’It’s unfortunate to see circumstances where candidates’ own conduct disqualifies them from taking up the positions for which they would have otherwise been elected, but the University is committed to upholding the WUSA Electoral Regulations and protecting the integrity of the student election process,’’ Ms Hoynes said.
‘’I offer my congratulations to the incoming president and WUSA council members who have been duly elected.’’
The third candidate for WUSA president has been declared duly elected. The university could not name the new president on Monday due to privacy issues.
The newly elected WUSA Council takes effect from December 1.