author: kristian ferguson | news editor
smash that ballot box / Courtesy of UR PRess
Results released amid investigation
***A previous version of this article incorrectly stated “For Senate, Amit Kumar Bansal, Steve Byblow, Rashad Haque, Muhammad Khan, and Colton Macdonald were elected” and has been corrected to say “There was only one seat available for Senate to be filled. The successful candidate is James (Colton) Macdonald.” ***
The University of Regina Students Union [URSU] recently concluded its fall by-election with the voting period ending on Oct. 18.
The by-election was called in response to former president Haris Khan’s resignation, as well as to fill other spaces that were vacated or not filled in the last election.
Souravdeep Singh was elected as Director, Faculty of Arts, and Keisha Desjarlais was elected for Director, First Nations University of Canada.
Muhammad Khan was elected Director, Francophone Students, Radhika Bansal was elected Director, Part-time Students, and URPride president Jacq Brasseur was elected as Director, LGBTQ Students.
There was only one seat available for Senate to be filled. The successful candidate is James (Colton) Macdonald.
Alfred Adenuga was elected for Arts University Council, and Colton Macdonald for Arts Executive of Council.
Rashad Haque was elected for both Business University Council and Business Executive Council. Lorene Entz was elected for Graduate Studies and Research University Council.
Most controversially, however, the position of President is currently unfilled. While election results saw Sukhdeep Brar win 475 votes, only ten more votes than Shawn Wiskar, the runner-up, the seat is “pending investigation by the URSU Elections Committee.”
Amber Smale, the Chief Returning Officer [CRO] of URSU commented on the election process so far.
“Overall, it went not too bad. During the campaigning period, everything was all good. With any election, people get a little silly come election day,” said Smale.
When asked for clarification on what she meant by silly, she stated, “A number of complaints are being looked into that I cannot comment on, but are typical in an election.”
“The actual election report isn’t due until the next board meeting. We should be wrapping up any investigations regarding the election by the end of this week. The elections committee is investigating right now,” said Smale.
That board meeting will be on Nov. 2.
Shawn Wiskar provided a bit of insight into the campaigning process.
“I feel like my campaigning was very successful, I reached out to a lot of students,” said Wiskar. “The issue comes with it being put over a weekend meant that a lot of my work in the first week might have been forgotten. That Monday and Tuesday was a mad scramble to remind everyone that voting was coming up.”
“It was difficult for all of the candidates,” Wiskar continued. “There was a lower voter turnout than you usually see in general elections, but a better voter turnout than in most by-elections.”
When asked if Wiskar was aware of what was being investigated, he knew little more than the rest of the students.
“It was within ten votes, so I am not sure if that is what they are investigating about, but I was only told that its being investigated, same as the rest of the student body,” said Wiskar. “I do know that the board didn’t confirm the successful candidate at the board meeting on Friday.”
Matt Fedler, one of the other presidential candidates, was also available for interview.
“I was surprised with the number of candidates, pleasantly surprised. That creates a few different variables that were unaccounted for going in..”
“It being such a short election campaign, as well, made those variables hard to factor in, and I was a little surprised with the election results.”
Fedler was also asked if he was aware why the results for president are being delayed.
“I have no idea. I have not received any information from the CRO and, to my knowledge, it does not involve me at all.”
Fedler also had some words of advice for Brar once the investigations are concluded and the results confirmed.
“Good luck. If you need anything from me, don’t hesitate to reach out. It is up to all of us to make campus a better place, and that doesn’t end at an election.”
This is not the first time that results have been delayed. URSU ran into similar issues in 2017 with the controversy surrounding Maria Aman’s campaign for VP External Affairs, as well as in the most recent election campaign, in which Rishabh Dutta was disqualified after reports of violations of the URSU Elections and Referendum Bylaw.
The Carillon will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.