By Racy Rafique and Gabriela Silva Ponte
This story will be updated as more information is made available regarding the appeal.
Team Ignite broke Toronto Metropolitan Students’ Union (TMSU) election bylaws by posting a video on its Instagram page without the #TMSUVotes hashtag, according to a March 24 ruling released by Chief Returning Officer (CRO) Adrian Aziz.
As a result, the slate—which consists of The Creative School director candidates Aditi Roy and Yanika Saluja—will be given eight demerit points each, according to Election Ruling 2023-010.
The ruling cites section 188.8.131.52 of the Elections Procedures Code, which states that candidates cannot engage in the “improper distribution of Campaign Materials.”
Additionally, section 184.108.40.206 of the Elections Procedures Code states that “Wherever possible, all postings to all online platforms will tag the TMSU CRO account in the post, and will use the hashtag #TMSUvotes.”
According to the ruling, the video did not use the #TMSUvotes tag.
In an email to The Eyeopener, Team Ignite said it is being “falsely accused” and that it should not be receiving demerit points for the post since it already allegedly included the hashtag.
“They are saying we did not use the TMSUvotes hashtag when we actually did,” it alleged.
Team Ignite told The Eye in the email that it will be filing an appeal.
The video was posted to Team Ignite’s Instagram account on March 23 and addressed allegations made by the Faculty of Community Services Society (FCSS) in a statement urging its members not to vote for three slates, one of which was Team Ignite, in the TMSU election, as previously reported by The Eyeopener.
“We want to come here and clear it out that we are literally completely new to the Students’ Union, to these elections,” said Saluja in the video. “We have no affiliation with any of the past teams or the current teams that are running. We are running on our own.”
“The fact that this whole Instagram account is telling people not to vote for us and they don’t have any basis is really telling of the current environment,” added Roy in the video.