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Claire Ting '25 is disqualified for running for president after she leaked internal Student Assembly communications to a progressive student publication.

April 18, 2024

Claire Ting ’25 Disqualified From Presidential Race Following Leaked Documents Investigation

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Current Student Assembly Executive Vice President Claire Ting ’25 is disqualified from running for president following an investigation by the S.A. Elections Committee, which voted unanimously, 10-0, against her candidacy. 

Ting, who defended her motivations for providing internal S.A. communications to a progressive student publication, was found to have violated election rules, according to a report from the Elections Committee obtained by The Sun. Her leaking of text messages was deemed an intimidation tactic that likely led to the harassment and coercion of multiple Assembly members, one of whom — named in the report as Individual 7 — is Vice President of Internal Operations Clyde Lederman ’26, who was a potential presidential rival. 

Lederman, at time of publication, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ting’s disclosure was found to have “creat[ed] a climate of fear” that discouraged candidates from running for S.A., including Lederman and Individual 11, a prospective candidate for executive vice president. The investigation concluded that “Ting was loosely under the impression that Individual 11 considered running as a ‘duo’ with [Lederman].”

The report confirms that Ting sent screenshots of the S.A. Executive Committee group chat to The Dispatch, which is described in the report as a blog “due to inability to verify the Dispatch’s journalistic standards.” The messages were sent to The Dispatch on March 1 in the weeks leading up to the Spring 2024 Student Assembly elections, despite having originally been sent in August 2023, the report noted.

The investigation found that “Ting neglected to report what she believed to be ethical concerns to the proper authority, the Office of Ethics, in a timely manner, instead waiting until shortly before the Spring 2024 elections” to hand messages over to The Dispatch. Ting, on the other hand, has justified her actions as a “whistleblower.”

The leaked messages, the report found, led two people on the Student Assembly — Lederman and Individual 11 — to not run for office. Ting confirmed in the report that she was aware both were considering running for office over the past few months. 

The messages Ting shared with The Dispatch implicate Lederman in collaborating with fraternities for his Ithaca Common Council run. The Dispatch article centered around Lederman and what is described as his role in “designing” the makeup of the Student Assembly. 

The report said that Timo Isreb ’26, who is identified as Individual 2 and who authored multiple pieces critical of Lederman, “was known on the Assembly to target and have a strong bias against [Lederman],” citing multiple members of the Assembly and an alleged public altercation between the two at a Feb. 1 S.A. meeting. Isreb, who serves as editor-in-chief of The Dispatch, was provided by Ting with, the report states, “improperly distributed Student Assembly communications” and published those in a March 22 article of which Isreb was the lead author. 

“This is an unfortunately desperate attempt by a visibly corrupt student government to silence those who speak out against it,” Isreb wrote of the report when asked for comment. Isreb also explained that Dispatch reporters and staffers did not testify before the Elections Committee as it “would violate journalistic standards of source confidentiality to do so.”

Within a week of the March 22 article’s release, a high-level member of Isreb’s team at The Dispatch — identified as Individual 4 — is said to have threatened to “ruin [Lederman’s] life,” which the report presumes to imply the disclosure of additional documents in future articles. 

According to the report, there have been “serious allegations regarding [Isreb]’s conduct towards women,” including “alleged unwanted conduct towards female students.” One of these alleged students was Individual 8, who the report states has a “close personal relationship” with Lederman. 

Ting said she was initially “approached by The Dispatch for an interview,” according to the report. But Ting told The Sun in an interview that, had she known of Isreb’s alleged conduct with women, she likely would have rethought her choice to leak the internal communications to Isreb, an action that has now led to her disqualification from the presidential race.

“I knew nothing of [Isreb’s] reputation towards women [when giving Isreb documents],” Ting told The Sun. “As a woman, especially as an advocate against sexual harassment and assault, had I known this information or was cognizant of it, I would have been less cooperative. My demeanor and willingness to cooperate on a story [with Isreb] would have changed significantly.”

Due to the nature of the “serious allegations” against Isreb, the Elections Committee has referred them to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards in accordance with the S.A.’s Election Rules. 

“I have full faith that the Office of Student Conduct will absolve me, and welcome transparency on the subject,” Isreb wrote in a statement. 

Corection, April 18, 7:40 a.m.: A previous version of this article misgendered a source. The Sun deeply apologizes for this error.