Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) presidential candidate Deena Hassan has been disqualified from the running for a second time.
Chief Returning Officer (CRO) Sahab Jesuthasan — the replacement for Mahir Zuber, who recently resigned — issued a ruling late on February 2 adding 15 demerit points to Hassan’s current 25. This amounts to 40 demerit points in total, five more than allowed under the Election Procedure Code. Among the campaign violations cited are misrepresentation of facts concerning the SCSU electoral process, pre-campaigning, and a “lack of fair play.”
On February 1, Jesuthasan issued an official warning to Hassan due to “outstanding issues pertaining to the All Candidates Meeting on Jan 22nd/2018.” In the warning, Jesuthasan noted that the Elections and Referenda Committee (ERC) asked Hassan to remove all videos of the meeting, arguing that “Hassan’s actions and words in the video undermine the electoral process at the SCSU.”
Jesuthasan also requested in the February 1 warning that the online #FREEZESCSUELECTIONS petition be taken down, noting that although Hassan said that she did not post it herself, she was ultimately responsible. “Candidates were notified that they would be responsible for the actions of Non-Arm’s-Length Parties. This may include situations whereby a Non arm’s length party producing the campaign material does so without the consent of the candidate,” stated the warning.
As of press time, the petition was still online but not accepting more signatures than the 637 logged.
Hassan was originally disqualified for amassing more demerit points than allowed under the Election Procedure Code. This was due to Hassan collecting signatures for her campaign while wearing a sweater indicating her position at the SCSU. Hassan’s first disqualification was later reversed by the ERC.
Sparse attendance at February 1 all-candidates forum
The executive candidates forum for elections saw low candidate and audience attendance. The event took place February 1 at Rex’s Den, the campus pub in the basement of UTSC’s Student Centre.
There were only around a dozen people in the audience, six of whom were candidates. The forum was livestreamed on the official SCSU Facebook page, but it was taken down after 24 hours.
Only one of two slates competing, UTSC Voice, showed up to the event. The other, Rise Up UTSC, headed by Hassan, “elected not to attend the forum,” according to an email from Jesuthasan. Independent presidential candidate Ray Alibux was also present at the forum.
The Varsity has reached out to Hassan for comment.