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Tichara Robertson wins presidential election, Honor Committee’s historic multi-sanction system passes

Voter turnout remained consistent with last year

<p>The highest turnout University-wide was on the Honor referendum, with 23.7 percent. Of the 6,138 students who voted, 5,444 or 88.7 percent voted in favor.&nbsp;</p>

The highest turnout University-wide was on the Honor referendum, with 23.7 percent. Of the 6,138 students who voted, 5,444 or 88.7 percent voted in favor. 

Third-year College Tichara Robertson was elected Student Council President in a contested election, earning 56 percent of the vote. Students also voted to pass the referenda put forth by the Honor Committee, which outlines a multi-sanction system, one of the single largest changes to the Honor system since its adoption of a formal constitution in 1977.  

Robertson’s opponents, third-year College students Vidar Hageman and Tenzin Lodoe received 30.7 percent and 24.3 percent of votes, respectively.   

Roberton’s running mates, third-year Batten student Violette Cadet and fourth-year Batten student Holly Sims were elected vice president for organizations and vice president for administration, respectively. Cadet beat out her competitor, second-year College student Ryan Bowers with 67.5 percent of the vote. Sims earned just under 50 percent of the vote, against competitors second-year College student Christopher Joseph and third-year College student Maryam Virk. 

“I’m very excited to serve as the next Student Council President and to have this opportunity to use such a high platform to continue my advocacy for marginalized students at U.Va.,” Robertson said. “I couldn’t imagine myself in this position without Violette and Holly, two of the most brilliant women who bring both passion and dedication into all the work that they do…I am beyond thrilled to begin this journey, alongside the students, toward a better U.Va.”

Turnout in the race for Student Council president was just under 20 percent, slightly higher than last year’s turnout of 17.4 percent. 

The highest turnout University-wide was on the Honor referendum, with 23.7 percent. Of the 6,138 students who voted, 5,444 or 88.7 percent voted in favor. 

Luke Lamberson, chair of University Board of Elections and third-year Commerce student, said he was proud of the final turnout numbers, which is about double last year’s turnout and the third-highest in the past ten years. 

“I am so grateful to everyone who voted and helped spread the word,” Lamberson said. “For UBE, this is just the beginning, and we look forward to an even better process and turnout next year.” 


Two referenda were on the ballot this year, the Honor Committee’s multi-sanction system and an amendment to UBE’s constitution which will increase the number of executive members permitted from 11 to 15. 

There have been nearly a dozen attempts to institute a multi-sanction system within the Honor Committee constitution, none of which had achieved majority support among student voters until today. Critiques of the single-sanction system can be traced back to 1971 — a 2004 editorial from The Cavalier Daily called for a multi-sanction system, and in 2007 a slim majority of students voted to uphold the single-sanction system. 

The largest change to the constitution is an expansion of possible sanctions, which includes but is not limited to a two-semester leave of absence, expulsion, education and amends. These new sanctions will be applied on a case-by-case basis  — there is currently no framework for what qualifies for each of these sanctions.  

The proposal also implements a panel that will decide guilt and a panel that will decide sanctions. On the panel for guilt — made up of five Committee members and seven randomly selected students — five-sevenths of the student portion of the panel would have to decide that the offense does not call for expulsion and other “permanent sanctions.” 

The passage of this amendment comes one year after students voted to reduce the single sanction from expulsion to a two-semester leave of absence. In September, Gabrielle Bray, chair of the Committee and fourth-year College student, announced a Constitutional Convention to be made up of 30 Contracted Independent Organizations from across Grounds who would work together to draft a multi-sanction constitution. 

After the Convention was pushed back twice, roughly 20 of the 30 original delegates met before classes started and drafted four possible proposals for a multi-sanction system. Ultimately, after discussing the four proposals, the Committee decided to put a referendum of their own on the ballot.

“I’m overwhelmed by the participation and the investment students had in the referendum,” Bray said. “I’m grateful to the convention delegates, the policies and procedures team, the support officers, the committee and [the executive committee] for all the work that went into this constitution and this moment. I cannot wait to see how this strengthens our community of trust.” 

5,460 students – 21.1 percent of the student body – voted on the UBE referendum. 84.65 percent voted in favor of the referendum, while 15.4 percent voted against it. Following this successful vote, there will now be 15 members on the UBE board — an increase from the current 11 members. 

Full results

Student Council President: third-year College student Tichara Roberston

Student Council Vice President for Organizations: third-year Batten student Violette Cadet

Student Council Vice President for Administration: fourth-year Batten student Holly Sims

Student Council Undergraduate Education Representative: third-year student Makana Brooks

Student Council Medicine Representative: Benjamin Ke

Student Council Undergraduate Batten Representative: third-year student Lillian Rojas

Student Council Undergraduate Engineering Representatives: first-year Aditya Tarigoppula and third-year Luke McNabb

Student Council Undergraduate Arts and Sciences Representatives: first-year College student Imane Akhanous, second-year College students Jason Almas, Nathaniel Doty, Andreas Masiakos, first-year College student Noelle Koo, third-year College student Charles Liu and Princess Olubuse-Omisore, first-year College student Chahna Parikh, Sylvia Rahim

Second Year Council

Second Year Council President: College student Keoni Vega

Second Year Council Vice President: College student Annie Zhao

Third Year Council

Third Year Council President: Nursing student James Edwards

Third Year Council Vice President: College student Liv Schortmann

Fourth Year Trustees

Fourth Year Trustees President: Commerce student Kyle Woodson

Fourth Year Trustees Vice President: College student Karina Reynolds

Honor Committee

Honor College of Arts & Sciences Representatives: third-year students Hamza Aziz, Nishita Ghanate, Rachel Liesegang and Jonathan Swap, and second-year Laura Howard third-year 

Honor Graduate School of Education Representative: vacant

Honor McIntire Representatives: second-year student Carson Breus, third-year student Brianna Kamdoum 

Honor Architecture Representatives: third-year Maille Bowerman, graduate student Timothy Dodson

Honor Law Representative: second-year Daniel Elliott

Honor Engineering Representatives: second-year Lukas Lehman, third-year Kasra Lekan

Honor Medical Representatives: third-year Brian Florenzo, second-year Lam-Phong Pham

University Judiciary Committee 

Judiciary Architecture Representative: second-year Heather Byrum

Judiciary Medicine Representatives: Patrick Connolly, Benjamin Ke

Judiciary Batten Representative: Graduate student Thomas Driscoll

Judiciary Undergraduate College of Arts of Sciences Representatives: Second-year students Lisa Kopelnik, Anna Prillaman and Melinda Wong, third-year students Ineke La Fleur and Ronith Ranjan

Architecture School Council 

Architecture School President: vacant

Architecture School Vice President: vacant

Architecture School Council Secretary: third-year student Maille Bowerman

Architecture School Treasure: vacant

College Council

College Council President: third-year student Catherine Schwarzschild

College Council Vice President: vacant

College Council Secretary: vacant

College Council Treasurer: vacant

Batten Undergraduate Council 

Batten Undergraduate Council President: third-year student Elaine Stombres

Batten Undergraduate Council Vice President: third-year student Carolyn Grimm

Batten Undergraduate Council Director of Communications: vacant

Batten Undergraduate Council Treasurer: vacant

Batten Graduate Council 

Batten Graduate Council President: vacant

Batten Graduate Council Secretary: vacant

Batten Graduate Council Treasurer: vacant

Batten Graduate Council Special Events Chair: vacant

Batten Graduate Council Community Engagement Chair: second-year MPP student Marina George

2024 Post-Graduate Class Representative: Post-Doctoral Candidate Asuka Bunthoambunlay

Commerce Council

Commerce Council President: vacant

Commerce Council Vice President: vacant

Commerce Council Treasurer: vacant

Education Council

Education Council President: vacant

Education Council Treasurer: vacant

Education Council Vice President & Secretary: vacant

Education Council Professional Development and Scholarship Chair: vacant

Engineering Student Council

Engineering Student Council President: third-year student Swathi Shekharan 

Engineering Student Council Vice President: vacant

Engineering Student Council Secretary: vacant

Engineering Student Council Treasurer: vacant

Engineering Student Council Fourth Year Board President: vacant

Nursing Student Council 

Nursing Student Council President: vacant

Nursing Student Council Vice President: vacant

Nursing Student Council Secretary: vacant

Nursing Council Diversity and Inclusion Chair: vacant

Nursing Student Council Treasurer: vacant

Nursing Student Council Social Committee Chair: vacant


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