After forcing a run-off election with Chance Carlisle ’05, David Gershkoff ’06 withdrew from the Yale College Council’s vice-presidential race Saturday.
His withdrawal came after Carlisle voiced two complaints about Gershkoff’s campaign on Friday, current YCC Vice President Nirupam Sinha ’05 said. Sinha said one complaint was an allegation that someone — possibly a staff member of YaleStation, the online system on which Yalies vote — gave Gershkoff voting results before the end of the election. The other was a “routine, minor complaint,” Sinha said, though he declined to comment further on the nature of this complaint.
Sinha said the YCC’s Election Committee had almost finished investigating the complaints when Gershkoff withdrew.
“Just like any complaints, the [Election Committee] began to look into it,” Sinha said. “We find no wrongdoing on the part of David or Chaitanya [Mehra ’06].”
Mehra, who serves as chairman of YaleStation, said Gershkoff never asked him for vote totals. He said in addition to himself, YaleStation founder Alexander Clark ’04 and the Election Committee were the only parties with access to these totals.
Gershkoff said YCC officials informed him after the complaints had been filed.
“Chaitanya never passed me anything,” Gershkoff said. “And all the facts point to that.”
The second complaint was “really silly,” he said, though he declined to say more about it.
Gershkoff said he withdrew because he did not want to see YaleStation implicated in any more controversy and because he realized his time commitment to the YCC would hamper his ability to do other things at Yale.
“The Yale College Council over the past few weeks has been through an enormous amount of strain,” Gershkoff said, referring to recent controversy over allegations that parts of the online dating service YaleStation Degrees were plagiarized from a similar service called WesMatch. “And despite being found innocent of any violation or wrongdoing, I did not want to see the council’s image tarnished further by anything like this and believed that by withdrawing from the race I could protect the council’s future.”
While Carlisle declined to comment on whether he thinks Gershkoff was guilty of any wrongdoing, he said he supports the Election Committee’s decision.
“I asked the Election Committee to investigate a couple of issues that they found no cause for action,” Carlisle said.
Gershkoff’s withdrawal means Carlisle will be working alongside future YCC President Andrew Cedar ’06. Carlisle said he will complement Cedar’s ability to secure long-term policy changes with his own commitment to “day-to-day student services.”
Carlisle said he intends to review the way YCC committees focus on issues, expanding the airport shuttle to New York City, securing longer library hours, revamping Machine City and organizing student concerts on Cross Campus.
“I think Andrew and I will make a great one-two punch,” Carlisle said.
Carlisle said he will also focus on improving the election process. The vice president typically runs elections.
“You can’t imagine the sleepless nights and the worrying that affects candidates,” he said.
Carlisle said he wants to limit “obnoxious” campaign materials like table tents and posters. He said he supports candidate debates, a longer campaign period and a shorter voting period.
In last week’s election, Carlisle captured 44.08 percent of the vote while Gershkoff earned 41.63 percent. Because the margin was not wide enough, a run-off election was scheduled to begin Sunday.