Everything that you may have missed in the UTSU 2014 election so far

Monday, March 3 | CRO rejects Team Unite’s platform 

JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY

JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY

Chief Returning Officer (CRO) Alex Flor blocked Team Unite from distributing some of its campaign materials. Flor cited concerns over a Team Unite platform point that said students annually pay $345.48 to the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU). Flor contended that students only pay roughly $17 to the union. According to ROSI, members of the UTSU pay $124.34 for dental insurance, $14.90 for the student commons, $68.24 for a fee labeled “UTSU,” and $138 for health insurance — for a total of $345.48. Ye Huang, presidential candidate for Team Unite, also addresed the issue that the CRO was not available for a large part of the day to.

 

Tuesday, March 4 | CRO assigns 29 demerit points to Team Unite members

CRO Alex Flor assigned a total of 29 demerit points to five members of Team Unite. Ye Huang, presidential candidate, and Nicky Bhatty, vice-president, external candidate, both received 10 demerit points for alleged violations of the EPC: five for “failure to follow grievance procedure,” three for “intentional misrepresentation of facts,” one for “misrepresentation of fact,”  and one for ”unapproved material.” Bhatty appealed the ruling and had his total points reduced to seven.

Pierre Harfouche, candidate for VP, university affairs; Baliqis Hashiru, candidate for VP, equity; and Anna Yin, candidate for VP, internal and services were assigned one demerit point each for ”intentional misrepresentation of facts,” “misrepresentation of fact,”  and “unapproved material.”

 

Tuesday, March 4 | Candi Chin-Sang, U of T Voice’s candidate for University College director, dropped out of the race and endorsed Team Unite

Candi-1Chin-Sang published an open letter explaining her rationale. She alleged that U of T Voice misrepresented her in their promotional materials, and willfully suppressed her individual opinions.

“I wasn’t consulted at all about the content of the posters — but since I’d discussed my platform points with [the U of T Voice], I thought they would represent me,” said Chin-Sang. She states that the first point on her poster is an exaggeration; the second is true, but not in her own words, and the third is a fabrication.

 

Wednesday, March 5 | U of T Voice posters vandalized

photo1Several posters promoting U of T Voice candidates were defaced in the Gerald Larkin Building at Trinity College. The posters had some of their platform points altered, and features drawn on the candidates’ faces with black marker.  In a separate incident, some of former U of T voice director candidate Candi Chin-Sang’s campaign materials were defaced after she dropped out of the election and endorsed Team Unite. The person responsible remains unknown.

 

Wednesday, March 5 | CRO issues demerit points to Voice candidate for unapproved poster with error

The CRO assigned three demerit points to U of T Voice candidate ZiJan Yang for an alleged violation of the EPC. Yang is alleged to have posted an unauthorized poster on Facebook that stated “Advocate for the elimination of winter” as a platform point, which was deemed a violation for both “misrepresentation of facts” and use of “unapproved materials.” Yang explained: “Instead of just winter, the poster was supposed to say winter residence fees.” Although Yang received two demerit points for unapproved material and one demerit point for misrepresentation of fact, he appealed the CRO’s ruling and his penalty was reduced to a single point.

 

Thursday, March 6 | Only independent candidate drops out, others field student questions at executive forum

Former indépendant candidate Louis Moreno endorsed Team Unite at Thursday's forum TINA ZHOU/THE VARSITY

Former indépendant candidate Louis Moreno endorsed Team Unite at Thursday’s forum TINA ZHOU/THE VARSITY

Luis Moreno, former candidate for vice-president, external and the election’s only independent executive candidate, dropped out of the election and endorsed Team Unite. Moreno said that he shares Team Unite’s vision to improve the UTSU’s relationship with colleges and divisional bodies, and believes that Team Unite can bring positive change to the union. Bhatty, Moreno’s former opponent, thanked Moreno for the endorsement. At the executive forum, students questioned candidates about transparency, eliminating rape culture on campus, sexism and men’s rights, improving accessibility, and the ongoing Student Societies Summit. The UTSU has since pulled out of the Student Societies Summit.

With files from Theodore Yan, James Flynn, Iris Robin, Amitpal Singh, and Anthony Marchese

 

The Explainer

 

The Elections and Referenda Committee (ERC)

The ERC oversees the Elections and Referenda of the Union. The ERC can modify sections of the Elections Code pertaining to the All-Candidates Meeting and the Rules of Elections. The ERC can also overrule decisions made by the chief returning officer. The ERC is chaired by Munib Sajjad, current UTSU president.

 

The Chief Returning Officer (CRO)

The CRO reports to the ERC. The CRO enforces the Elections Procedure Code and the Charter for Referenda, authorizes all election notices, publicity and campaign materials regulated by the Elections Code, and organizes and conducts the All-Candidates Meeting.

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