UTGSU General Council to hold meeting on legitimacy of elections as voting period begins

CRO, Elections Committee in the dark, elections could be ruled out of order
SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY
SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY

On the same day that the voting period for the 2020 University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) elections begin, the union’s General Council will be meeting to deliberate the legitimacy of the elections.

According to the Chief Returning Officer of the elections, Amin Kamaleddin, the council’s Elections Committee was not consulted or informed of the context of the meeting slated for March 9 and he reaffirmed that the elections will begin at 9:00 am that same day, as scheduled.

Changes to the elections code and debate over the ballots at the council’s February meeting sparked the controversy, where the council voted to implement a ranked ballot over a single-vote ballot. The council waiving the two-week notification period for the general membership, countering what had been established in the previous version of the elections code.

According to the meeting’s minutes, Branden Rizzuto, Chair of the UTGSU’s Legal Ad-Hoc Committee and former Finance Commissioner, argued that the last-minute changes to the elections code were out of order. He went as far as challenging the chair of the meeting for procedural mistakes in passing the changes. Rizzuto also pointed out during the discussion that an appeal of the elections could rule the elections out of order.

The council then voted at the meeting to suspend its own rules on the needed two-week notification for any changes to the election for the duration of the 2020 elections.

The Varsity has reached out to the UTGSU Executive Committee for comment.

Editor’s Note (March 10, 2:58 pm): This article was updated to clarify that the CRO and Elections Committee was notified of the meeting, but not informed of the context of the meeting.

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