Controversy stirred between VP education candidates

David Birnbaum, a vice-president education candidate in this year’s Feds elections, is alleging that his opponent, incumbent Stephane Hamade, actively discouraged people from running against him before the nomination period closed. Birnbaum said that was part of his motivation to run for the position. 

“I had been told by multiple people that Stephane [Hamade] was convincing people to not run against him so he could be acclaimed,” Birnbaum said in a phone interview. 

“I know he was very pleased he was running unopposed and [my nomination] forced him to make a better campaign than someone running unopposed,” he said.

Hamade denied these claims.

“That isn’t the case,” Hamade said in response to Birnbaum’s allegations. 

Hamade said he did not think his telling someone not to run for a position would stop them. He also said he was surprised when, initially, there were no other VP education candidates. 

“I didn’t actively discourage people from running and I’m very glad that there’s somebody [else] running for VP education,” said Hamade.

“To elect someone into a vice-president position that was actively trying to discourage people from running for the student union, that’s not someone I want as a vice-president, just on the principle,” Birnbaum said.

Birnbaum was unwilling to reveal who had made the allegations to him that Hamade had discouraged them or anyone else from running for the position. 

“I’m a little bit rattled by those comments,” Hamade said.

Birnbaum is on co-op this term and will likely not be present for any of the three election debates. Polling starts Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. and ends Feb. 12 at 10 p.m.


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