HSF Controversy: The campaign rules

by | Mar 17, 2014 | Campus News

Tim Brilhante at the Joey Restaurant Yorkdale | Photo courtesy via Tim Brilhante's Facebook page

Tim Brilhante at the Joey Restaurant Yorkdale | Photo courtesy via Tim Brilhante’s Facebook page

By Jake Courtepatte

Tim Brilhante released a statement on his personal Facebook account Monday morning outlining the violations he has been accused of.

The sitting HSF president was seeking re-election, but was disqualified late Thursday night – less than 24 hours before the polls closed – from the HSF presidential election. Chief Returning Officer Natalia Toussaint chose not to disclose the reasons for the ruling.

Because Brilhante was disqualified, he was no longer considered a candidate and  HSF electoral rules dictated that he was, therefore,  no longer eligible to issue a formal appeal.

A total of 5,470 votes were cast in the election.

Shawn Manahan was elected president with 1,051 votes, edging out Mary Anne Savoie who received 995 votes, and Kay Tracey who received 796 votes.

Here are the four strikes Brilhante received, causing his disqualification:

  • A friend used their personal Twitter account to enter the HSF ‘Silly Putty’ contest, uploading an image stating ‘I vote Tim’. The friend changed their profile picture to a picture of a campus club they represent. The election policy states that it is against the rules to be endorsed by a campus club.
  • Another HSF club allegedly endorsed Brilhante on their Twitter account. Brilhante stated on his personal Facebook page that there was no evidence to support this,and the social media rep of the club confirmed no post was ever made.
  • A third strike was issued for campaigning in a restricted area (LinX). The restricted areas also include the library, classrooms, and athletics. However, candidates are still entitled to use the facilities for personal use.
  • A final strike was issued for failing to delete a campaign-related Facebook cover photo at the end of the campaigning period.

After beginning his appeal process, Toussaint reduced three of Brilhante’s four strikes to warnings.

However, Toussaint made a decision that two warnings would be equivalent to one strike. The strike, three warnings, and an earlier warning for using a Humber mailing list, once again added up to three strikes, disqualifying Brilhante.


The HSF elections and appeals policy states that it is the candidate’s “responsibility to fully understand the appeal process.”

  1. Candidates wishing to appeal has until 4pm one business day following the closing of voting stations to file a ‘Notice to Appeal’. The notice must include the candidate’s Letter of Reasons.
  2. The Executive Director will make the candidate’s Letter of Reasons available to the CRO by 9am on the second business day following the closing of voting stations.
  3. The Executive Director will make the CRO’s response available to the appealing candidate by 9am on the fourth business day following the closing of voting stations.
  4. An Appeal Package is then delivered to the Elections Appeals Committee, and will include the Letter of Reasons and the CRO response.

Brilhante stated on his Facebook page that he is “pursuing all available options to achieve a democratic outcome for all parties.”

Toussaint was not available for comment when Humber News reached out Monday morning.