In an email sent out to publications late last night, Columbia Elections Board has announced that Jeffrey Sollazzi has been disqualified from the School of General Students race for its one University Senate Position. In the email, CEB noted that he was disqualified for breaking election rules by attacking his opponent’s personal character and integrity during yesterday’s Elections Debates.
The full email can be found below.
After serious deliberation, the Columbia Elections Board has ruled to disqualify GSSC University Senator Candidate Jeffrey Solazzi from the race effective immediately.
The Elections Board does not take this decision lightly but the highly inappropriate conduct of the candidate in question justified its severity. The Elections Board was very explicit before and throughout the elections cycle that while a candidate’s ideas and proposals may be scrutinized, their personal character and integrity were unquestionably off limits to any attacks or any damaging actions on the basis of mutual respect. The Elections Board made it clear at the Rules Meeting held on Monday, April 11th by stating in the presentation “Do not attack the character of other candidate in any way.” The Elections Packets distributed to all the candidates also explicitly states that “it is strictly prohibited to demean any other candidate.”
Despite these repeated warnings of not attacking the personal character of another candidate, Jeffrey Solazzi during his live streamed debate publicly attacked his fellow candidate Ramond Curtis. Solazzi’s introductory statement was as follows:
“Hi my name is Jeff Solazzi, and I’m running for GSSC Senate. I’m someone that’s really committed to making the school better and I want the best for this school. If I didn’t think i was the best candidate for this position I’d step down. I’ve heard from Sean Ryan, next year’s chair of the Student Affairs committee that Raymond is crap.”
The last remark was not only a direct violation of the rules against attacks on personal character the Election Board has presented, but an extreme disregard for the integrity and fairness of the general election process.
Given the above reasons, the Elections Board affirms its decision to disqualify Jeffrey Solari from the GSSC University Senator race.
UPDATE (4/18): Jeffrey Sollazzi has shared the following response:
To whom it may concern, I have just been notified by the Elections Board that I have been disqualified from the election for my comment during the debate today. I apologize to the Elections Board, I apologize to the student body, I apologize to Sean Ryan, and most of all, I apologize to Ramond Curtis. After reviewing the remaining candidates, I give my endorsement to Ramond Curtis.