Student Voice challenges ACT Now! in SA elections

Rookie Student Voice slate hit with demerit points for poster infractions

On Wednesday the CRO issued the Student Voice candidates 12 demerit points for various poster infractions including slate posters posted right next to each other. Photo of ACT Now! posters at Casa Loma campus by Tina Todaro/The Dialog

On Wednesday the CRO issued the Student Voice candidates 12 demerit points for various poster infractions including slate posters posted right next to each other. Photo of ACT Now! posters at Casa Loma campus by Tina Todaro/The Dialog

It’s that time of year again. Every winter, the Student Association (SA) holds elections the for its 21-seat board of directors.

With two slates, Student Voice and Act Now!, each candidate wants your vote, and are letting students know why students should vote for them.

ACT Now! is fielding the biggest slate with candidates for every position except satellite campus director which saw Student Voice candidate Angel Mbikay acclaimed to that position.

The ACT in the ACT Now! slate’s name stands for “Accountability, Change, and Transparency.” While they haven’t published a comprehensive platform some of the individual platforms of their executive candidates include part-time jobs and placements for students, advocacy for better food in GBC cafeterias, expanding Mental Health Awareness week to all campuses, asking the college to expand 24-hour library hours to all campuses, and an increase to the SA’s special events budget.

ACT Now! has an experienced slate of candidates most of whom were on the board this year running for the executive positions.

  • Thomas Hadwen, the current Casa Loma campus director, is running for his third term on the board as the director of operations.
  • Jatinder Maan, the current director of education and equity, is running for the director of education.
  • Gagan Deep, the current director of public relations is running for the director of communications and internal.
  • Jaycel Murphy, the current community services representative is running for director of equity.
  • Rachel Grace, who has never been elected to the board, is running for director of campus life.

Student Voice is campaigning on renovating the Casa Loma Student Centre (which the current board has already approved with construction is scheduled for the spring), lobbying for 24-hour library hours on all campuses, creating a task force on campus food options, lobbying the province to extend OHIP for international students, and increasing awareness of the Community Action Centre.

Student Voice’s executive candidates are all fresh challengers with no previous experience on the SA’s board.

  • Brittany Andrade, who works part-time as SA events staff, is running for director of operations.
  • Masini McDermott, who is the president of the Mosaic club, is running for director of education.
  • Alex Stewart, a student life ambassador to the college, is running for the director of communications and internal.
  • Marriepossia Tang-Higgins, a second-year marketing student, is running for the director of campus life.

Student Voice does not have a candidate for the director of equity position.

Also running for the executive are independent candidates:

On Wednesday, chief returning officer (CRO) Ewa Cichewicz issued a total of 12 demerit points to every member of the Student Voice slate for breaking various rules in regards to placement of campaign posters. Deep from the ACT Now! slate was also hit with a five demerit point penalty for campaigning during the nomination period.

“Violating various poster regulations hinders other candidates from the opportunity to equally display their materials.” said Cichewicz via email. “This prevents the student body from being fully aware of all candidates running to represent their interests.”

The CRO can disqualify executive candidates after they accumulating 35 demerit points and other candidates are disqualified after getting 20 demerit points.

“Unfortunately the bylaws were not really clear but I’m pretty upset at the fact that my slate and I were well aware of where we were allowed to post and found out our posters got moved,” said Andrade from Student Voice. “All we can do at this point is focus and not allow these side issues to hold us back.”

Cichewicz confirms that she moved some Student Voice posters on the second floor of St. James campus after complaints from the college that they were posted on a surface that was not permitted.

Campaigning began on March 16 and will continue until the end of the elections on March 27. Students will be able to get to know the candidates and learn about how they plan to make a difference if they are elected.

In addition to the executive candidates students will also be able to vote for a director for each campus, education centre and constituency representatives as well as a student representative on the George Brown College board of governors.

Voting will take place from March 23 until March 27 and this is your chance to vote for who you believe will best represent you during the 2015-2016 school year.

A full list of candidates and their candidate statements, can be found on the SA’s website at http://studentassociation.ca/about/elections/

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Student Voice challenges ACT Now! in SA elections