HSF Controversy – Another presidential vote: What’s next?

by | Mar 27, 2014 | Campus News

By Adam Kozak

As Humber students voted to oppose Shawn Manahan as HSF President at the Humber Students’ Federation’s Annual General Meeting, the student body was left dealing with two questions. When will there be an election for HSF President? And how much will it cost?

HSF will only hold a by-election for the role of president by Sept. 30. All other HSF executives elected on March 14 will begin their term May 1.

Humber News has learned that, under one scenario being floated, a new president may not be in place until the end of September.

The current results were thrown into disaray after the students voted 89-90 against approving Shawn Manahan as HSF president.

During the vote this month, Tim Brilhante, the current HSF president who was running for re-election, was disqualified and taken off the ballot by Chief Returning Officer Natalia Toussaint. The move happened with less than 24 hours left in the voting period.

Brilhante told Humber News last week that he was going to fight the result.

Toussaint told Humber News she upheld the rulebook, and that Brilhante would not have a chance to appeal.

Shawn Manahan, who had been declared the winner and who now has to run again, told Humber News last week it wasn’t the ideal way to win, but “it is what it is”.

As of Thursday there have been no meetings and no action taken by the HSF to get a by-election running.

Frank Rizzi, the HSF’s Finance and Operations Officer, was able to half-answer about both the timing and the cost.

“Almost certain it’ll happen September, not before,” Rizzi said.

With about a month of the school year left, Rizzi said if HSF condenses the usual election process length and holds one week each for nominations, campaigning and for voting, it will make for too tight a schedule.

“We won’t have time to prepare anything, and that’s just if we start nominations on Monday,” said Rizzi.

Based on the Elections and Appeals policy, the by-election must happen before Sept. 30.

The policy also states there has to be a nomination, campaigning and voting period, although it doesn’t give a required length for each.

For the 2014 budget the HSF allocated $100,000 in expenses to hold the election. Rizzi told Humber News the official expenditure for this year’s election has not been finalized.

As for the expenditure for the by-election, Rizzi didn’t know for sure, but did speculate on how the HSF can cut costs.

“We have to think about what we can cut out, what we can re-use,” said Rizzi. “Stuff with dates on it can’t be re-used. Are we going to re-shoot new videos for everybody? Stuff like that. It makes sense when we have 20-25 candidates. For the one position, those are the things we need to decide on first before we can see where we’re going.”

In the last five years, the HSF hasn’t held a by-election for any executive members. There has only been a by-election for the Board of Directors.