By Aleysha Haniff
Associate News Editor
Darius Dadgari has dealt with rules for his entire university career.
Dadgari has been hired as the chief returning officer (CRO) for the upcoming Ryerson Students’ Union election. After earning a Masters’ degree at York University for computer science last year, he’s putting his skills to use.
“You have to be very scientific in your process,” he said.
The St. Catharines native is responsible for running a fair election. As an impartial third party, Dadgari will supervise the election proceedings, hand out demerit points if necessary, and listen to the candidates’ concerns during campaigning and voting.
Campaigning for executive, faculty representative and graduate executive positions begin Jan. 26. Voting runs from Feb. 9-11.
RSU president Muhammad Ali Jabbar said Dadgari had the relevant experience and the organizational skills needed for the job. Jabbar and the RSU internal coordinator, Andréa Armborst, selected and interviewed CRO candidates last year. The CRO is only approved by the executive committee.
After the first person chosen for the job turned it down, the RSU had a second selection process.
Since his hiring in mid-December, Dadgari has had ample time to do his homework. Last year’s CRO, he said, was hired two days before the election and had little time to prepare.
“I try to go through the experiences… and fix the things that went wrong,” he said.
If business faculty director Abdullah Snobar had it his way, more than two people would interview and select candidates.
Snobar’s biggest concern is whether the CRO is affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS).
“There are obviously people in the office who are highly affiliated [with CFS].”
One of the major issues in last year’s elections involved allegations that the CRO was biased because of CFS ties.
Dadgari, however, hasn’t even been to a CFS meeting.
“My concern isn’t being pro or anti-CFS. My concern is running a fair election,” he said.
Dadgari was the president of the Computer Science and Engineering Graduate Students’ Association at York from 2005-07. He has dealt with smaller elections before, he said.
He has also reviewed emails sent by last year’s candidates to the CRO to better prepare himself.
Dadgari said he knows no one at Ryerson, and he’s not interested in socializing with the RSU and potential board members.
“You really have to remain unbiased if you want to get to the truth.”