News in Brief: Shaban’s Candidacy Restored, Toope Comes to Council

Omar Shaban Disqualified, Re-instated Over Nomination Form

Yesterday, Omar Shaban was disqualified from the presidential race. It was determined that he did not have enough valid nominators on his nomination sheet. This was partly carelessness on Shaban’s part for only collecting the bare minimum of 50 signatures. The signature that was deemed to be questionable was a student but was deemed ineligible by enrolment services.

However, upon further investigation by Erik MacKinnnon, the Elections Administrator, the disqualification was reversed. The EA’s full explanation says that the student in question is at Corpus Christi, an affiliate of St. Mark’s college. The likely reason that the student was originally deemed ineligible was that “the student admitted that their finances aren’t necessarily in order, so that they were unsure whether or not AMS fees have been paid.” Ordinarily, unpaid fees would make a student ineligible to vote. However, it was determined that Corpus Christi had already forwarded fees on behalf of all of its students to the AMS earlier this year. Essentially, Corpus Christi paid AMS fees on the student’s behalf, even if the student has not yet paid their fees yet.

The EA summarizes the whole thing like this: “I sincerely hope that future candidates view this as a lesson to collect more signatures than the minimum amount required to submit their nomination. Thankfully, this situation has worked out for the positive, and Omar Shaban is free to run for the AMS Presidency.”

If there’s any clear winner in all of this, it’s bureaucracy.

For a summary of other elections happenings so far:

  • Weina Zhou withdrew from the Senate race on Jan 9.
  • Mike Silley withdrew from the BoG race on Jan 10.
  • Noam Chomsky withdrew from the VP External on Jan 10.
  • AJ Hajian was fined $25 from his BoG and Senate reimbursement amounts ($50 total) due to spray painting logos.

Get up-to-date coverage on our AMS Elections 2011 page.

President Toope Coming to AMS Council

Tomorrow night, 6 pm, SUB206, President Toope will be holding an unscripted Q&A with students at AMS Council. This is an extremely good opportunity to ask him a question about anything, literally anything, you might want to get off your chest and onto the president’s radar. Want to get more details about tuition fees? Gage South? Student Housing? Academic Issues? Come out, and don’t forget that AMS Dinner will be there too.

Gaza Flotilla Donation Still Not Resolved

The issue that just won’t die, the Social Justice Centre’s attempted $700 donation to the Canada Boat to Gaza, was supposed to come to council at tomorrow night’s meeting for another attempt to finalize the donation. Instead, the AMS is attempting to mediate a solution along with the IAC, SPHR and SJC. If unsuccessful, it will come back to council at the following meeting.

GSS Passes Bylaw Reforms, Except For Council Size Reduction

Tonight’s GSS Special General Meeting passed most of the proposed bylaw changes with one exception: reducing council size. The proposal was to institute a 1 department, 1 seat council structure. Concerns regarding over-representation of smaller departments, coupled with under-representation of larger departments scuttled the plan with 64% voting in favour, just shy of the 2/3rd needed. Here’s a proposed compromise: 1 seat for departments with 0-99 members, 2 for departments with 100+. Hopefully the newly created council secretary will ensure the council size issue comes back at the next general meeting, rather than going into the GSS’s graveyard of good ideas.

AMS Gets New Health Plan Provider

Subject to council approval tomorrow night, the AMS will be switching insurance providers for the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan.

VP Finance Elin Tayyar said that the coverage will stay the same, but that the plan will cost over $700,000 less per year. Some of the extra cash will be put into a health plan reserve fund, but the rest will result in either a freeze of the health plan fee (it is the only AMS fee already indexed to inflation) or students may actually see the fee decrease next year.

This may be quite useful during the AMS’s upcoming fee referendum. If they couple the decrease of the health plan fee with the increase in other fees and make them balance out, the referendum would become much more palatable to budget-conscious students.


Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. Why is the AMS trying to mediate a solution regarding the Gaza donation? Didn’t AMS Council vote to approve the donation pending a) SAC investigation and b) that the charity was not a terrorist organization.


    Posted by Student | January 11, 2011, 11:45 pm
  2. The IAC, having run out of avenues through which to argue against the donation on its merits, has resorted to procedural wrangling and legal threats to delay the donation. The mediation is an attempt to get them to stop doing that, I’d guess.

    Posted by Neal Yonson | January 12, 2011, 12:01 am
  3. Minor typo “the AMS is attempting to mediate a solution along with the IAC, SPHR and IAC.”

    Presumably one of those is intended to be SJC.

    As for the mediation? Bijans proposal to the SJC was found to be totally inadequate. It is just another attempt to frustrate those involved and delay this decision indefinitely.

    That’s fantastic news about the health plan, also.

    Posted by Rory | January 12, 2011, 12:25 am
  4. I believe the vote on the 1 department – 1 vote motion was something like 54 Yes, 35 No. That’s about 61%.

    Posted by Sancho | January 12, 2011, 10:40 am
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