The Elections and Referenda Committee (ERC) of the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) has issued a string of demerit points to Reboot UofT connected to alleged transphobic comments left on its Facebook page, resulting in the disqualification of five of its candidates.
Reboot presidential candidate Micah Ryu has accumulated 38 demerit points while Life Sciences Director candidate Avinash Mukkala has 30. Engineering Director candidates Allan Cheung, Riley Moher, and Calix Zhang have 21 demerit points.
Executive candidates need to accumulate over 35 demerit points in order to be disqualified. At-large director candidates need more than 25, while other director candidates need more than 20.
All executive and director candidates for Reboot received 8 demerit points after a comment was left by an unaffiliated party on a Reboot Facebook post in which “the individual intentionally misgendered a member of the Executive,” according to the ERC page on the UTSU website.
Bridgette Dalima, the Chief Returning Officer, did not issue any demerit points and urged candidates to “better patrol” comments on Facebook. However, the ERC issued 8 demerit points for the entire slate, as Reboot made several Facebook posts within the 14 hours the comment was up.
“Not only was there a reasonable expectation that the page would have been notified by this comment being posted, they were additionally notified by a concerned community member through a direct tag to the page,” the ERC wrote. “Any individual with admin access to the page who was posting some of these social media posts would have seen both the original comment and the community member flagging the concern.”
Dalima received another complaint related to “deliberate lackadaisical approach to the moderating of their Facebook page, particularly in regards to recent trans-phobic posts and comments from followers on the Reboot Facebook page,” according to the ERC page, and issued three demerit points to the entire slate.
However, the ERC found that members of the slate had allegedly ‘liked’ one of the comments in question. The committee overturned the three demerit points and issued 10 points for the entire slate.
Ryu has also faced allegations of transphobia after comments he previously made on Facebook resurfaced last week.
The Varsity has reached out to Ryu for comment.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify that eight demerit points were issued to the Reboot slate as a result of a comment left by an unaffiliated party on a slate Facebook post. The demerit points were not issued as a result of the post itself.