‘Revolution’ candidates messaged random students, breaking RSU election bylaws

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By Thea Gribilas and Edward Djan

This article will be updated with comment from the ‘Revolution’ slate and RSU chief returning officer Jenna Rose

A ‘Revolution’ candidate in the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) election messaged a student on Instagram urging her to vote for Revolution candidates.

Jaspreet Sahota, a third-year computer engineering student, sent The Eye screenshots which shows Hafsa Siraj, candidate for Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Sciences director, asking Sahota to vote for the slate.

In the message, Siraj urged the student to vote for Revolution, writing, “I’m the only female candidate running for FEAS, it would mean the world to me if you’d vote for me and my team.” 

Instagram message from Hafsa Siraj, candidate for FEAS director, asking student Jaspreet Sahota to vote for Revolution candidates on Feb. 2

In response, the student questioned whether candidates were allowed to send unsolicited messages to students.

Siraj wrote: “it’s not allowed in group chats, however we’re allowed to message directly!”

This year’s nomination package clearly states that “candidates are explicitly forbidden from campaigning via any form of electronic mail,” under RSU bylaw section 6.69. 

According to the nomination package, which was obtained by The Eye, “the spirit of this article is to ensure that mass, unwanted communications are not received by those who may not want to receive this information.” 

Section 6.35 of the RSU election bylaws state that “failure on the part of a candidate to comply with any paragraph contained within Article Six (6) of this document and/or the Elections Procedure Code may result in disqualification at the discretion of the Chief Returning Officer (CRO) following a consultation with the Election Appeals Committee.”

RSU CRO Jenna Rose didn’t respond in time for publication. 

This comes after The Eye reported that ‘Forward’ candidates were messaging students on social media, urging them to vote for Forward candidates. At the time of publishing, five students have sent The Eye messages from Forward candidates.

The Eye already reached out to slate presidential candidate Ahmed Ali for an interview to allow candidates the opportunity to elaborate on their platform. Ali replied back via email saying, “I will speak to my exec team and get back to you. As of right now everyone is working with really tight schedules.”

Ali has not responded yet.

The Eye also reached out to every Revolution candidate personally through their social media account used to campaign. Not a single candidate has responded to The Eye.

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