Following the news that the University of York Student Union Academic Officer Thomas Ron dismissed a student’s intentions to stand for the position of President in the forthcoming 2016 union election, rumours and hearsay are rife within social media.
On Yik Yak, several suggestions have been made that may add more detail to an unravelling story first reported by the campus newspaper, York Vision. Some have repeated York Vision‘s suggestion that Thomas Ron was acting in defence of Scott Dawson, Welfare Officer, to assist his YUSU colleague in his bid to stand as President in the 2016 election. Others have gone further and reported that Scott Dawson has cancelled his plan to become President because of this news.
Some users expressed dissatisfaction with the reaction to the news, seeing it as exaggerated:
The recipient of Thomas Ron’s text messages wished to remain anonymous, but it was soon suggested on Yik Yak that the recipient was a ‘woman of colour’. Some users took this to refer to one of the union’s Women’s Officers, leading to the theory that Thomas Ron had dismissed a fellow officer in favour of Scott Dawson. What’s more, others advanced the idea that the Women’s Officer had gone to York Vision to spoil Thomas Ron’s own campaign to be re-elected as Academic Officer.
One user likened this to a “smear campaign” that was not a one-off occurrence within the union:
One user wrote that this was evidence of corruption within the union, portraying it as a friends-in-high-places network:
However, many Yik Yak users took to social media to make humourous allegations against the Academic Officer:
One user compared Thomas Ron to the Republican presidential nomination candidate Donald Trump:
For some, Thomas Ron’s actions surpassed reality:
Elsewhere, in a comment to York Vision‘s story, one user wrote:
Tron should resign. It is completely unacceptable for someone in his position to think he can ‘carve up’ roles for people. He’s completely skipping the election process and putting his friend in as President.
The truth of these suggestions remains unclear without an official announcement from the union. However, according to YUSU’s rules regarding union elections, the public expression of opinion from the Sabbatical Officers on the capability of a candidate is forbidden. As Thomas Ron expressed his opinion privately to the individual concerned, he has acted legally according to YUSU.
Nominations for the YUSU elections close at 5pm on the 29th of January.