Petition against fine arts Action candidate Tomer Shavit picks up steam

Coming on the heels of allegations of negative campaigning behaviour on his part, a petition circulating in the fine arts department is calling for students to vote against Action candidate Tomer Shavit.

The petition, which started circulating Wednesday and has about 100 signatures, originated with theatre student and FASA councillor Michael Mercer.

“The petition circulating is to inform the fine arts student population of the less admirable things that Tomer Shavit has done to our faculty’s reputation,” he said. “For example, the comments he left on the Link’s article regarding the CSU council trying to go into closed session on March 9. I find it very hypocritical that [Shavit] would vote to go into closed session to discuss Morgan [Pudwell]’s resignation, but later slanders her name, calling her ‘inept’ and ‘dormant’ with regard to her duties as co-chair of the Women’s Caucus. I feel he doesn’t represent the views of most fine arts students.”

Mercer also mentioned that Pudwell “did a lot for us in reforming FASA’s constitution this year” and said he hopes the petition will just help to better inform fine arts students before they head to polls this week. When contacted on Sunday, Mercer had not actually spoken to Shavit yet.

A computational arts major and candidate for Senate, Shavit was not sure the petition actually existed before being contacted. He said his tendency to be outspoken makes him an easy target for the petition. “I feel like I’ve been targeted for pretty much voicing my opinion and standing up for what I think is right,” he said. “It was my opinion at the time that Morgan [Pudwell] did resign out of political reasons and because she wanted to re-run, so it was a political stunt. […] In my opinion, the petition was sent out by her supporters.”

“Basically, I hope that fine arts students will have a more informed decision when they come to vote and that they choose the Senate candidate that they feel will best represent them, “ Mercer said.

The petition is not the only negative attention Shavit has received during the campaign period; he was also singled out for his allegedly poor behaviour towards Your Concordia candidates.

Presidential candidate Lex Gill said that while most members of  Action had been relatively equitable opponents, “I feel like there are a few candidates who have stood out as fairly inappropriate, have done things like following candidates on Your Concordia around […] harassing them in classroom speeches, using derogatory words around them or to describe them, and one of the most clear cases of that is Tomer Shavit who has been outright insulting, spread completely untrue rumours about myself and my teammates, and has generally disregarded rules about fair play.”

Gill also said she had spoken to the CSU’s chief electoral officer Oliver Cohen about Tomer’s behaviour. “Oliver basically said that he spoke to Tomer at length about how his behaviour was inappropriate and he was instructed not to do it again.”

While Shavit confirmed he had spoken with Cohen, he said that “in the way that he talked to me about it, he didn’t believe the allegations.” He also said that Cohen had only contacted him because it was his duty to do so as CEO, because Gill “was filing a lot.”

Cohen declined to comment about the issue before it is resolved.

With files from Jacques Gallant.

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