SU Election appealed

The Students’ Union Election may be finished and the new vice presidents all but sitting in their shiny new chairs, but for one VP-elect, the battle is far from over.

On March 20, incoming Students’ Union VP Operations and Finance Gavin Preston will be challenged on the legitimacy of his February election campaign and his right to participate as an active member of the SU. Former VP op-fi competitor and current Events Commissioner Brett Pearce officially requested a review of Preston’s behavior during the SU election. Alleging that Preston failed to submit a platform for the election, pre-campaigned, put up illegal posters and used the SU clubs e-mail list inappropriately, Pearce’s 12 page filing recommends that Preston be disqualified as a member of the Students’ Legislative Council and suspended as an active member of the SU, thereby invalidating his election as VP op-fi.

“To do so otherwise would be to make a mockery of the bylaws and subvert the interests from [sic] students as a whole,” wrote Pearce in his official submission to the Review Board. “The Review Board decision must reflect the seriousness of these offences and the premeditated manner in which some of the offenses were committed.”

However, Preston maintains that these allegations have less to with upholding SU bylaws than they do with personal rancor over the election results.

“This is only because I won,” said Preston. “This kind of petty accusation seems malicious.”

While Preston believes many accusations are groundless because of either technical aspects of the bylaws or accepted precedent–such as assuming that his campaign material on the Rock would be removed by subsequent paintings–he believes that the degree to which Pearce has pursued the case does not reflect a simple adherence to the SU’s bylaws.

“He’s going for the harshest penalty,” said Preston, “and I have to ask whether these are the harshest infractions.”

Citing a number of violations by other candidates during the election, Preston asks why he has been made the sole target of Pearce’s appeal.

“I would ask what he’s trying to accomplish,” said Preston. “If he’s really going for justice then I have to ask why he hasn’t offered his own resignation over his violations of the SU bylaws; why is it just me he’s going after?

“Well, I’m sorry Brett, but I won,” said a defiant Preston.

Brett Pearce did not respond to requests seeking comment.

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