Andrew Hom and Arjun Menon emerge as VSG write-in candidates

Voting began today at 8 a.m. CDT.


Tasfia Alam

The front entrance of Rand Hall, as photographed on Oct. 4, 2022 (Hustler Multimedia/Tasfia Alam)

Duaa Faquih and Simon Rosenbaum

Juniors Andrew Hom and Arjun Menon announced their candidacy for VSG president and vice president, respectively, on March 23 in an Instagram post. The pair are running as write-in candidates and will, therefore, not be on the official election ballot, which opened today at 8 a.m. CDT. 

Hom and Menon are running against three other tickets: juniors Ari Sasson and Shreya Gupta; juniors Sam Sliman and Kendelle Grubbs; and junior Macy Su and sophomore Lonnie Smith for president and vice president, respectively. Voting will close on March 29 at 12 p.m. CDT.

VSG elections commissioner Matthew Sohn said there are three requirements for write-in candidates, including having good academic standing and meeting the VSG standard eligibility requirements, submitting required paperwork regarding candidates’ platform and petition by the end of voting and following all the campaign rules and regulations. 

Sohn said in a message to The Hustler that he is unaware of Hom and Menon’s campaign.

“So far, I’ve received no contact from them,” Sohn said. “We’ll see if that changes.”

Hom said that he and Menon are not considered official candidates because they did not attend a mandatory meeting held by VSG to run for the positions.

“Why should a meeting be mandatory and who says we should even be meeting?” Hom wrote in an Instagram post. 

Hom and Menon said they’re running to make Vanderbilt a better place for students, criticizing former student government leaders. 

“People pay good money for this school, and it’s truly a shame that there is a vast history of student body presidents that have any ulterior motives,” Hom and Menon said in a joint message to The Hustler. 

Much of Hom and Menon’s campaign speaks of alleged inefficacies within VSG. Neither Hom nor Menon have prior experience with VSG. 

“Anyone can brainstorm 15-20 campus initiatives and make promises to be better, but a majority of candidates have VSG experience already,” Hom and Menon said. “What have they been doing in the past? If they have been doing stuff, why hasn’t anyone heard of it?…You hear all these broken promises of serving and listening, when in reality we know some of these people are just trying to bolster their law school application.”

Hom pointed to prior calls for soft-serve ice cream machines in dining halls as evidence of his ability to make change on campus.

“For months before [adding a soft-serve ice cream machine to Commons Dining Hall], I personally had been lobbying for soft serve ice cream in the dining halls. And while I must admit I was not consulted in the decision to bring soft serve to Commons, I find it suspicious that my idea and its conception be cast off as completely unrelated,” Hom said.

The pair said they want to reform VSG, rebuking the idea of disbanding the student government.

Sliman and Grubbs’ campaign flyer, which reads “Abolish VSG,” as photographed on March 27, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Sliman/Grubbs campaign)
Sliman and Grubbs’ campaign flyer, which reads “Abolish VSG,” as photographed on March 27, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Sliman/Grubbs campaign)

“I’ve even heard a call to abolish VSG, which to me seems like a cheap copout when all it needs is a kick in the rear,” Hom and Menon said.

Dissolving VSG is one of the main objectives of the Sliman/Grubbs campaign, whose campaign posters feature the slogan “Dissolve VSG.” 

Sliman and Grubbs said they did not have a comment in response to Hom and Menon’s statements or their campaign.

Hom and Menon’s campaign proposals include “rekindling” students’ trust in VSG and giving all students tricycles.

“We like to say we’re THE write-in candidate, so yes. I sincerely hope that being write-in candidates doesn’t write us off as a joke,” Hom and Memon said.

In 2021, sophomores Eric Lewis and Tingyu Zhang ran after another write-in ticket failed to garner recognition due to not meeting the signature requirements for write-in candidates. However, despite there being only one official ticket on the ballot, write-in votes only reached 23.32% of the vote that year.