An eyewitness said they saw V3 slate posters being removed last week and Tiffany White of Act Now says her posters have disappeared at St. James campus
Updated Wednesday, April 5 at 4:09 p.m with additional information
Candidates from both Act Now and the V3 (Values, Voices, Virtue) slates are saying that someone is removing their campaign posters for the Student Association (SA) elections.
The SA funds The Dialog.
Mercedes Burrowes, who is running for the director of campus life on the V3 slate, posted on Facebook Saturday morning, “George Brown, we are seeing a lot of our hard work being taken down all over school! Please look and don’t touch our posters and if you see someone who is taking them down politely tell them not to.”
The photos show V3 posters on the floor in the hallway of the main floor in the St. James A building along with one of Burrowes that is torn.
Tiffany White, who is running for director of education for Act Now, copied The Dialog in her complaint to the SA elections team on Wednesday, April 5 at 2:01 p.m.
“I just walked through St. James after the debate to campaign, and I realized every single poster that I had up has been removed,” wrote White. “This is clearly no longer a tape issue.”
In her email to chief returning officer Charles Wilson, White says that seeing her posters “disappear” at St. James campus makes her feel targeted and notes that other members of her slate still have their posters up.
“It was only my posters being removed and I no longer feel safe if this is the way this election is going to be carried out,” wrote White who asked that the CRO investigate and that footage from security cameras be reviewed.
The Dialog performed an inspection of St. James campus on Wednesday afternoon and could only find a few of White’s posters with none on the basement, first, second, seventh and eighth floors.
“The posters are there one day and gone the next,” said Gerard Hayes, director of student experiance at the college. “That’s not normal, usually posters for any event goes up, they stay up here. So something’s not right.”
Hayes said more posters have gone missing in the past couple of days and only at St. James campus. He said that he would be contacting George Brown College’s public safety and security to see how difficult it would be to identify any culprits from the security cameras at the college.
Hayes said it was possible that if students were caught removing posters they could be disciplined under the college’s Student Code of Conduct.
Janine McCue, a friend of V3’s director of equity candidate Sheldon Mortimore, told The Dialog that they saw someone removing V3 election posters on the fifth floor of the St. James campus on Wednesday, March 29.
Wilson confirmed that the posters on the fifth floor were not removed by elections staff and that he has received no complaints about posters being removed or Burrowes’ Facebook post.
“Sometimes posters fall down, unless we have an indication that there is some sort of malicious intent we really can’t do anything about it,” said Wilson, who added that if someone sees anyone taking down posters he encourages them to contact elections staff with the information.
Deborah Crane, an SA facilities staff member at St. James campus, commented on Burrowes’ post that she has seen “a lot” of posters fall down and that it happens every year. Crane has appeared on the Act Now slate’s Facebook page supporting Brittney DaCosta who is running against Burrowes.
“At this point, I don’t want to point fingers,” Burrowes told The Dialog. “I think it’s unprofessional to say ‘hey, they might have been doing this.’ When in reality, it really could just be our tape.”
White said that her slate have also found their posters on the floor.
“My first reaction is that it sucks, because you work very hard on posters and you put a lot of effort into it making sure you can get them up and you take a lot of time out of your day to put them up,” said White. “So it’s not nice to see your work get trashed like that. My second thought was, oh god, they are going think that it’s us.”
In an email to The Dialog after this article was published DaCosta wrote, “I’d like to point out that having these articles, that are clearly evident that you all are pro opposite slate to Act Now, makes you look biased and is in every way disrespectful to us. Considering we have worked as your board of directors for the past year it looks as if you have an issue with Act Now as your articles are completely biased and I am now questioning what have I done to you or The Dialog team.”
Two other candidates from V3, Mortimore and Harjit Singh Dua, who is running for director of communications and internal, shared Burrowes’ post.
“I would encourage everyone to just use common courtesy and leave them (posters) up and respect the hard work of our candidates,” said Wilson.
With files from Steve Cornwell
CORRECTION: in a previous version Brittney DaCosta’s first name was misspelled. The Dialog regrets the error.