HSF candidates gather in new election forum

Published On March 3, 2015 | By sargonjajjo | News
HSF presidential candidates (from left to right) Ayesha Pierre, Shawn Manahan, Ahmed Tahir and Patrick Millerd participate in the first all-candidates open forum.

HSF presidential candidates (from left to right) Ayesha Pierre, Shawn Manahan, Ahmed Tahir and Patrick Millerd participate in the first all-candidates open forum. (Celia Grimbly/Humber News)

 

By Celia Grimbly

HSF presidential candidates spoke to Humber News Tuesday at the first all-candidates open forum about changes to HSF’s election and appeal policy.

HSF amended the policy in the fall changing the protocol for removing a candidate from a ballot if they receive three strikes for violating campaign rules.

“I think everyone is on their toes trying not to get disqualified,” said Ayesha Pierre.

Chief Returning Office Selena Carbury told Humber News candidates who receive three strikes before voting opens will be removed from the ballot but will remain on the ballot if they reach three strikes after voting opens.

Votes cast for the disqualified candidate will not count, Carbury said.

The controversy in last year’s election “may be making people a little nervous but rules are important to make it a fair competition and everyone needs to abide by them,” said Patrick Millerd.

The process for dealing with disputes and appeals is more clear now, Ahmed Tahir told Humber News.

“I think the rules are pretty solid and…the appeals committee established it a lot more this year.” Shawn Manahan

“I think the candidates understand how to approach any kind of strike,” he said. “In the past a strike would happen but a person didn’t appeal it until the end of the election. I think that was a big problem – if it’s a strike and you don’t agree with it, appeal it right away.”

Shawn Manahan said the changes to the protocol are a good thing.

“I think the rules are pretty solid and…the appeals committee established it a lot more this year,” he said.

Manahan won last year’s HSF presidential election after Tim Brilhante was disqualified, but Manhan was ousted after students voted to overturn the election.

Brilhante’s situation last year was an exceptional case, he said.

“He was the [current HSF president] at the time so you had to handle it a little more carefully,” said Manahan.

HSF implemented other changes to the elections policy and process this year, Carbury said.

HSF no long requires candidates to take down their posters during voting periods, she said.

“We actually allow them to keep them up during voting and take them down after just to let Humber students know that the election process is still going on and there is still voting,” said Carbury.

HSF also changed the open forum format.

A panel of HSF part-time staff and Humber students moderated the open forum at Humber North’s student centre instead of a celebrity host.

Carbury told Humber News HSF switched to the Humber student panel because they better represent students’ interests.

“We just wanted to…incorporate as many aspects of Humber life rather than bring someone in from outside who doesn’t know what we’re about,” said Carbury.

But there was a downside to not inviting someone notable to the event, Manahan said.

“In a way, I think it’s possible it drew less people not having a celebrity here but it also enhanced focus on the importance of school politics,” he said.

The next all-candidate open forum event is Wednesday at Lakeshore campus.

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