Hazam Nasir has been disqualified from the UVSS Elections. Nasir was originally running for the Director of Student Affairs position. The UVSS electoral office ruled that he defamed his opponent, Mariel Hernández. In a subsequent complaint, the electoral office also ruled that Nasir defamed me.
The Martlet will not be reporting on this in a news article as I was directly impacted by Nasir’s actions. However, I would like to inform our readers about these events in the following statement:
Over the course of Nasir’s campaign, the electoral office received five complaints regarding the candidate’s conduct. The complainants’ identities are kept anonymous by the electoral office.
First, the UVSS electoral office received complaints regarding the Instagram account ‘the UVic Tip.’ Nasir previously ran the account but denied having any involvement with it after the campaign period started. According to the electoral office, Nasir’s campaigning account (‘Hazamaffairs’) had “I run @uvictip” in the account bio, the UVic Tip account’s associated contact information was linked to Nasir and the UVic Tip’s Instagram bio read “I’m running in the UVSS election” with a link to Nasir’s campaigning account.
After affirming that the UVic Tip account was a secondary account used for campaigning, the electoral office decided that two of the posts made on that account were defamatory.
The Electoral Policy Manual defines defamation as: “any intentional false communication that is written (libel), spoken (slander), or otherwise transmitted, including via social media, that harms a person’s reputation; decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which a person is held; or induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against a person.”
The UVSS electoral office found that Nasir defamed his opposing candidate in a post on the UVic Tip. As defamation is a major offence under the UVSS Electoral Policy Manual, Nasir was disqualified.
The UVSS electoral office also found that Nasir defamed me in a post on the UVic Tip. He was already disqualified, but the electoral office affirmed that publishing this defamatory information was a disqualifying offence, too.
The post read “Kate Korte shows the UVic Community once again that she doesn’t have a shred of journalistic integrity,” and claimed to detail “how an insider is helping a friend.” The post went on to suggest that Hernández and I are friends and that my coverage of the UVSS election was therefore biased towards her.
I spoke to Hernández for the first time when I interviewed her for the article. The electoral office agreed that insinuating that we are friends and questioning my journalistic integrity constitutes defamation under the electoral policy manual’s definition.
The Martlet is an independent organization separate from the university and the UVSS. We will continue to provide impartial coverage of the UVSS elections.
Thank you to all the people who have voiced their belief that the UVic Tip’s post was inaccurate and continued to support our work at the Martlet.