Elections were extended half a day due to not reaching quorum by 13 votes
The results for the Arts & Science Federation of Associations (ASFA) general elections have been released with a total of 459 votes. All of the candidates for the executive team ran unopposed and were successfully voted in. One of the four referendum questions on the ballot was not passed.
The voting period for ASFA general elections were extended by half a day due to the elections not reaching the quorum—the 435 ballots cast necessary to legitimize the election—after students cast their votes between March 21 to 23 to elect a new ASFA executive team for 2017-2018 and vote upon four referendum questions.
Julia Sutera Sardo, currently ASFA vice-president of internal affairs was successfully elected president with 305 votes, 53 abstaining votes and 91 votes against.
Christopher Czich won the position of VP of Social Affairs, with 297 votes in favour; Bianca Bruzzese obtained the role as VP of External Affairs and Sustainability with 266 votes in favour; Gregory Bedell was elected VP of Loyola and Academic Affairs with 239 votes in favour. Also, Steven Tutino won VP of Internal Affairs with 265 votes in approval and Francesco Valente won with 295 votes in favour for the position of VP Finance.
The role of vp of Communications and Promotions has not been filled, as no one ran during general elections.
For the role of independent councillors, all four candidates running were elected; Andrea Gauthier, Rachel Hutchinson, Gaëlle Kouyoumdjian and Alisa Knezevic. There remains one open spot for a fifth independent councillor which remains unfilled.
Three of the four referendum questions in this election were passed. The proposal for ASFA’s fee levy to be raised by $0.12/credit—from $1.22/credit to $1.34/credit, put into effect in Fall semester 2017—was rejected by students: 207 voted no, while 166 voted in favour and 56 abstained.
However, the second referendum question was passed to allow quorum for Annual General Elections, By-Elections and any Referendum questions to be lowered from a requirement of 2.5 per cent of the students ASFA represents, being more than 20,000 students—this election’s quorum was set at 435 students—down to 400 students. This passed by 207 votes, with 137 votes opposed.
The third bylaw asked students to vote for changes to the ASFA bylaws to alter the students allowed on the organization’s financial committee. The changes, which were approved with 185 votes in favour, allows for a student at large—meaning a student who is neither an executive or councillor—to be part of the committee which approves budgets for events and ASFA’s member associations.
Finally, the referendum question for ASFA executive positions to be changed to non-hierarchical titles were passed by 252 votes, and 87 opposed.
ASFA’s chief electoral officer (CEO) Samuel Miriello announced the federation decided to extend the voting period, giving students the chance to vote from 9 a.m. to noon March 24 to reach quorum.
Just before 8 p.m. on March 23, ASFA vice-president of internal affairs Julia Sutera Sardo said ASFA’s election had met quorum. However, at 11 p.m., Miriello stated ASFA had not reached quorum. The mistake was due to a technical error with the election equipment.
According to Miriello, the issue was with the vote counting system. “People with double majors were counted twice by accident—we were off by 13 votes,” he said.
“If we knew that we were missing votes, we would’ve extended the polls anyway,” Miriello told The Concordian. “The technical error was exposed during ballot count.”
Despite extending the elections longer than three days and furthering balloting after votes had been counted, Miriello said lawyers working for ASFA told him doing so was legal.