The former international students’ representative was given 26 demerit points during the campaign, says infractions were not intentional
Unofficial results show that Kushagra Manchanda, will be the Student Association’s (SA) new director of operations.
At press time, Manchanda, who was the SA’s international student representative previously, has 836 votes while his opponent Brenda Agyei has 674 votes.
The SA funds The Dialog.
Manchanda said that he was waiting for the official results like everyone else and that he is looking to assume the position as soon as possible.
Prior to the campaign, Manchanda said his priorities were to advocate for a “healthy, welcoming and accommodating safe place” for everyone, to improve the main financial and administrative operations of the SA and raise student awareness about scholarships.
Chief returning officer (CRO) Charles Wilson explained that the results are unofficial because the SA board hasn’t approved them yet, and unvalidated because the registrar’s office is still reviewing three ballots.
Complaints about Manchanda during the campaign resulted in Wilson penalizing him 26 points. Under the SA’s election bylaws, candidates for executive positions are disqualified if they get 35 demerit points.
The complaints involved inappropriate online campaigning in his personal social media channels, improper comments regarding the qualifications of Agyei, use of the SA office without the clearance of the chief returning officer, and campaigning in restricted areas.
Manchanda said that some of the rules weren’t completely clear, and his missteps during the campaign were genuine mistakes.
“All of the mistakes that I made, weren’t out of intention,” he said. “They were out of a lack of knowledge and I do assume the responsibility.”
The Dialog reached out to Brenda Agyei for comment, but requests for an interview were not returned by press time.
The byelections were the first to have online voting at George Brown College and a total of 1,540 students voted with 1,215 voting online. The election timeline was also prolonged significantly due to the faculty strike. Originally voting was scheduled to take place between Oct. 30 and Nov. 3, but polls closed officially on Nov. 30
Several other board positions in the byelections were acclaimed.
- Jeremy Worrall as arts, design and information technology representative
- Calvin Bartholomew Soto as St. James campus director
- Jolie Taros as Waterfront campus director.
- Kevin Yu as business representative.
- Matthew Mokedanz as the construction, engineering technology representative.
- Arnel Fleurant as black students representative
- Jimberly Cotoner as the women and trans students representative.
- Nureisse Khan as the GBC board of governors student representative.
The health sciences and hospitality and culinary arts representative positions remain vacant.
With files from Afra Hossain