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HUA Co-President Ticket Suspended Following Campaign Violations

The Harvard Undergraduate Association meets in Smith Campus Center. Just hours before the HUA's yearly elections, the HUA Election Commission dissolved one of the co-presidential tickets for campaign rule violations.
The Harvard Undergraduate Association meets in Smith Campus Center. Just hours before the HUA's yearly elections, the HUA Election Commission dissolved one of the co-presidential tickets for campaign rule violations. By Sami E. Turner
By Cam N. Srivastava and William Y. Tan, Crimson Staff Writers

Just hours before voting opened for the Harvard Undergraduate Association’s yearly elections, the HUA Election Commission suspended the campaign of Lucas Chu ’23-’25 and Trinity A. Dysis ’27 for co-presidents, citing violations of official campaign procedures.

The move — which came only a day after the Election Commission announced the eight candidate pairs for the position — was the latest twist in a chaotic week for the HUA. The organization is currently facing efforts to recall both of its current co-presidents, John S. Cooke ’25 and Shikoh M. Hirabayashi ’24, just weeks before their term ends on April 20.

The effort to recall Cooke, which comes after his explusion from the Fox Club last week, garnered enough signatures on Sunday to move forward with a referendum, although it is unclear exactly when the recall vote will be held.

The HUA Election Commission wrote in an email to The Crimson on Tuesday evening that they made the decision to suspend Chu and Dysis’s campaign after “multiple rule violations.” Chu wrote on Tuesday night that he has been reported to the Administrative Board — the body enforcing College policies — for his actions.

The violations included sending “campaign emails” to group lists and “cold emails” to individuals, campaigning before the official campaign period started at noon on Monday, and not centering campaign communications “on the candidate’s own platform.”

On Sunday evening, Chu and Dysis circulated an email message to just under 500 members of the undergraduate student body, encouraging students to sign on to petitions to recall both Cooke and Hirabayashi and disband the HUA entirely.

Chu, an outspoken critic of the HUA, wrote in that email, “No more scandals. No more presidents. No more HUA. Let existing orgs do what they do best.”

After Chu sent the email, the HUA Election Commission and Dean of Students Office scheduled a meeting with him on Monday morning regarding the violation of campaigning rules.

According to the Election Commission, Chu was informed during the Monday meeting that his candidacy would “be moved to a three-strike rule: two of which were already violated, given the severity of the violations.”

Chu’s running mate Dysis said that early Tuesday morning, the pair “sent out about 3,000 more” emails to undergraduate students following the initial warning, though they added that the email they circulated was one “that was corrected by the guidelines the HUA provided us.”

In Tuesday’s email to the Crimson, the HUA Election Commission wrote that Chu and Dysis “explicitly” broke multiple rules outlined in the Election Commission Regulations for this year’s election, which ultimately led to the suspension of their campaign.

Chu said in a Tuesday interview that neither he nor Dysis understand the basis of their campaign termination, adding that his email on Sunday did not violate the Election Commission Regulations because he did not include any mention of his campaign.

“I had sent an email earlier without any mention of the election or my campaign, precisely because I didn’t want to seem like that was campaigning,” he said.

Chu wrote in an email to the Election Commission that his second email blast “did not mention the election” or the pair’s “campaign platform to disband the HUA.”

“With all due respect, dissolving our ticket just proves our point,” Chu wrote.

—Staff writer Cam N. Srivastava can be reached at Follow him on X @camsrivastava.

—Staff writer William Y. Tan can be reached at Follow him on X @william_y_tan.

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