SA slow with election ads?

Reporter: Giorgio Berbatiotis

Student Association elections are only beginning, yet there may have already been a possible violation of SA bylaws and election protocols. Section 9.3 of the SA bylaws states that “notice of the date of the election and the nomination procedures shall be given to members by publication in a campus newspaper at least twenty (20) business days prior to the start of the nomination period.” There were no articles concerning student elections until Feb. 18, however, and the SA did not reach out to Chronicle staff at an earlier date regarding the elections.

The elections chief returning officer, Bradley Chin, said “Notice was given on the SA website, in addition to printed advertisements across campus, at least 20 days prior to the nomination period.” SA promotion online was minimal, however. Chin did not reply to further questions.

Chin gave a similar response when questioned over a similar violation during student elections at the York Federation of Students this year. There, he told the campus newspaper there were no penalties for such a violation and suggested his putting up posters was adequate. In the same paper, editor Divyesh Mistry blasted the student union there for lacking transparency and questioned whether the efforts Chin pointed to, had sufficiently informed students.

The election policy is determined by the board appointed election committee, but the election policy itself is subject to the general bylaw’s of the Student Association, which clearly state promotion of the election must happen in a campus newspaper a minimum of 20 days before the start of the nomination period, and does not provide for “alternative measures” to be taken in their place. The election policy this year has undergone several changes that bring it closer to those used by the York Federation of Students, and some students have raised concerns about the legitimacy of the process.