By Josh Visser
Three full slates will be running for next year’s RSU executive after all.
Candidates Gligor Lojovic and Granville Pais, who were disqualified last week, have been reinstated — without having an appeal. “Basically, they literally buckled after we went to the media,” said Pais, a candidate for the vice-president finances and services position.
“We were willing to appeal the process. “I was there right up until five o’clock waiting for the appeal process to begin and they called a half hour before and they said, ‘Oh, nevermind’.”
In order to run for the RSU executive, candidates need to have the signatures of 50 full-time students. Several of the candidates’ signatures were originally deemed to be either illegible or ineligible. “Some of the people that nominated them, we couldn’t find in our databases after three or four times,” said Chief Returning Officer Kelly Holloway.
“And we checked four or five times and with different numbers and spellings and found that those people could in fact be nominated. And we just told (Lojovic and Pais) right away.” As a result, Lojovic and Pais’s slate lost about a week of campaign time because their running mates would have had to campaign as independents.
The candidates say that they don’t hold anything against the CRO, but feel that their status as an outside slate negatively affected them. “I’m happy that we are back in, but the whole thing was weird because we were the first ‘third’ slate to run in about 10 years,” said Lojovic, who is running for president.
“I would say it’s an honest mistake,” Pais added. “(But) they took too much time to do what they are supposed to be doing.” But other candidates were also disqualified, which may have caused some delay, Holloway said. “(Lojovic and Pais) were not the only ones deemed to be ineligible.
There were about eight different people who were deemed ineligible,” she said. “The other thing was that the slates were not formed at the time of the nomination sheets, so there was no way that we denied an entire slate.” But former CRO and recently resigned Faculty of Arts Director Nick Gauthier says there was no reason to disqualify the candidates. “It happened every time I was CRO at McMaster and Ryerson. A student would be missing a couple names on their validation forms. I counted them on the spot and validated them,” Gauthier said.
“Holloway should have… let them go out and get three or four more signatures. “It’s kind of silly to drag them on like that; they are really enforcing the rules for the sake of rules.”
Lojovic and his slate have some catching up to do; voting begins next Monday. But RSU President Rebecca Rose said that a late start shouldn’t hurt the slate’s chances. “All they will have to do is work hard and do what everyone else is doing, which is talk to students,” she said.
“It has been a slow campaign so far, so I don’t think they have much to worry about.” Lojovic said he isn’t feeling quite as positive about the lost time.
“My competitors took all the good spots for posters,” he said. “What do I do now?”