The start of the campaign period for the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) elections has been delayed following protests at an all-candidates meeting on January 22.
The campaign period for the SCSU executive and board of director elections was supposed to begin on January 23. According to Nafisa Mohamed, Chair of the SCSU Elections and Referenda Committee (ERC), the ERC will have to meet again and reschedule another all-candidates meeting before the campaign period can begin.
Despite the delay in the start date, Mohamed told The Varsity that the election itself has not been halted, and that voting will still take place from February 6–8.
The all-candidates meeting, which typically happens the day before the campaign period begins, was met with protests on the evening of January 22.
The uproar was spurred by damning allegations made toward SCSU executives and staff regarding the upcoming election period. In line with a petition currently circulating online, the protesters are calling for a freeze on the election until five concerns are resolved.
The protest devolved into scuffles, leaving Chief Returning Officer Mahir Zuber injured and SCSU Internal Coordinator Arthi Velupillai seeking medical attention for an arm injury.
Deena Hassan and Ray Alibux, UTSC students seemingly at the helm of yesterday’s protests, are two of three candidates disqualified from running in the coming elections.
Hassan, the current VP Operations at the SCSU, had planned to run for president of the union. She was disqualified after amassing more demerit points than is allowed for executive candidates. Her demerit points, issued as per the SCSU Elections Procedure Code, were given out for “abuse of position or status” and “malicious or intentional violation of this code.” Hassan contested these rulings publicly at yesterday’s protest, saying that the SCSU was trying to “silence” her and that they did not give her “substantial evidence” for their rulings.
Alibux was disqualified after he failed to collect the requisite number of nominee signatures from UTSC undergraduates.
“The events of last night is currently under the investigation of Campus Police,” said Mohamed. “The Elections and Referenda committee will be meeting soon to discuss the course of action.”