Home News PSSA accreditation widely supported

PSSA accreditation widely supported

by Gregory Todaro February 2, 2016

Week-long voting shows 96 per cent in favour of initiative

After a week of polling, the preliminary results of the Political Science Student Association, or the PSSA, referendum for accreditation received overwhelming support. More than 96 per cent of voters supported the PSSA’s decision to gain legal standing to represent political science students at Concordia.

The votes were counted Monday under the supervision of Concordia Dean of Students Andrew Woodall. Of the 414 votes cast, 399 were in favour or accreditation, eight against, and seven abstentions and spoiled ballots—a total voter turnout of 28 per cent. The ballots along with voter registration lists and ballot counts were then sent to the ministère de l’éducation de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche, who will recount and review the process before officially accrediting the PSSA.

PSSA president Jason Poirier Lavoie said he was “stoked” with the result and attributed the success of the campaign to the use of mobile voting stations.

“It made a radical difference, we got near 100 ballots through that strategy,” he said. “It was vital to our success.”

Volunteers and PSSA executives took the voting to the largest classes when they had enough staff to work the main polling station and the mobile voting station—two students at each—and could directly speak to students, answering questions to give the students enough information to make an informed decision. Overall, Poirier Lavoie believes the booths each required two people for nearly 40 hours that week

“The amount of students who came forward out of a desire to help out … was amazing,” said Poirier Lavoie.

The province has until the end of April to render a decision on the accreditation process: they will review every ballot, the list of students and a report highlighting any discrepancies in the voting process. However, the PSSA used what Poirier Lavoie called a “triple-check system,” which involved checking a physical list of eligible voters at stations, an excel spreadsheet which was updated live and a ballot count. During the counting process, there was only a one-vote discrepancy: one of the ballots wasn’t signed by both volunteers at a voting station. For an election this large, Poirier Lavoie was impressed with the overall thoroughness of the process.

“For this volume of votes, it’s incredibly precise,” he said. “Our triple-check system was a huge safety net.”

ASFA president Jenna Cocullo said she was “very pleased” to learn of the PSSA’s successful accreditation vote. “I support any member association who wants to go down that path [of accreditation],” she said.  

Until the province officially confirms the accreditation, Poirier Lavoie said the PSSA still has a busy schedule ahead of it.

“We’re calling for our general assembly in the next few weeks to talk about about the accreditation, the future PSSA bylaws and to discuss what’s happening with ASFA,” he said.

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