Student Court challenges, election 2008

The period for the 2008 AM elections was punctuated by numerous irregularities of various sorts. When problems arise in elections, or in other matters of stuff that goes against the AMS Bylaws or Code, complaints can be brought to a group of people called the “student court”. These are seven people, typically law students, that interpret the code, and make rulings based on it in whatever dispute is going on. The Student Court is comprised of one Chief Justice (who has to be in third year law) and six other students. They’ve got the ultimate say on interpreting AMS bylaws and code. AMS council can overrule Student Court rulings, but usually doesn’t. Elections-related complaints first go to the election appeal committee. This committee consists of the Elections Administrator, Chief Justice, and a representative of the person with the complaint (other than themselves). If this committee can’t decide what to do, or if the person appeals their decision, the issue goes to all of the Student Court.

Current challenges/complaints that I’m aware of (there may well be more):

VP Academic race: A complaint pertaining to this race has been submitted. I don’t know by whom, or any details. The VP academic race was particularly close, with only 30 votes separating the winning candidate, Alex Lougheed, from the runner-up, Nate Crompton.

VP Admin race: Mike Kushnir, the candidate that ran as “scary” Mike “the rabbi” in the VP admin race, is filing a complaint about the cancellation of this race, in opposition to code. Specifically, he wants the results from WebVote released. To quote the formal complaint he submitted to the elections committee a few days ago:

I am not looking to have the VP-Admin election declared valid. I am simply looking to have the election results released. I would like to have Stephanie Ryan appointed as my representative to the Elections Appeal Committee.

BoG race/ general: According to sources, one of the winners of the BoG race sent out an email to members of the Greek system, stating that he was the only fraternity member running for BoG. This turns out to be factually incorrect, since Andrew Carne is also a fraternity member. Omid Javadi, the EUS VP external, who is filing a complaint about this and more general matters pertaining to the conduct of the Elections Administrator is on the record saying the following:

Brendan does not deserve a penny of the honorarium he is supposed to get. The election results should be invalidated, simply because democracy was not achieved with this election. He provided no services to this society, and as such, should not be paid. This sort of ineptitude should never be seen again.

Details are still fuzzy, since I can’t find a list of current Student Court members, and the Election Administrator isn’t answering my emails. Speaking of the EA, rumors are flying that council is going to try and fire Brendan Piovesan, this year’s EA, at tomorrow’s council meeting.

In any event, elections results are only official after council approves them. As long as there are unresolved Student Court challenges pending, this won’t happen, so the elections results are still very much in question. Hopefully this won’t spell a huge delay for Executive turnover.


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