Explained — The Courier breaks down your questions about the 2022 CSU Election
Alisha Samnani // Editor-in-Chief
Allegations have been made against multiple Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) executive candidates for their conduct during the 2022 CSU Elections. Our last article has left students wondering what will happen now that these allegations have come to light — we decided to break it down for you.
I thought the election was over — aren’t candidates voted in already?
Not quite. As of March 20, the CSU has only presented their unofficial election results.
Before election results become official, all complaints — read our previous article for a summary of those — and appeals need to be resolved by the elections administrator (CRO). Section 7.6 of CSU Procedure BD-06.1 Election states that the CRO “must issue a written decision in response to a complaint, which must include the decision itself, the reasons for it, and the particulars of any penalties that the elections administrator has imposed, if any.”
This decision, along with any appeals, must be published on the CSU website, and is binding even during the appeals process.
Once the elections administrator has presented their election report to both the board of directors and the CSU’s executive director “without any approval or ratification vote”, that’s when the results become official.
According to Section 6.1 of CSU procedure BD-06.1 Elections, the CRO may make rulings and interpretations around election policy, procedures, and any other election rules that have been established “on their own initiative, and without having been prompted by a candidate’s report or complaint.”
The CRO may also launch an investigation into any suspected election irregularities or violations, even if they haven’t been officially reported. The procedure also states that “every candidate, student executive, board member, campaigner, and employee of the Capilano Students’ Union must cooperate with any investigation undertaken by the elections administrator.”
Possible penalties for candidates
CSU election procedure gives the elections administrator “complete discretion in determining the appropriate penalty for any given offence,” depending on the severity.
A minor offence is defined as “an offence which was accidentally or unintentionally committed, and which is unlikely to have a material impact on the results of the election,” while a serious offence is considered to be “intentionally or deliberately committed” and is “likely to have a material impact on the results of the election.”
Serious offences can include ignoring warnings, or repeated rules broken by a candidate.
Section 9.4 of the procedure gives the CRO the ability to withdraw a candidate’s campaign rights, disqualify a candidate, or any other penalty they deem appropriate. This does not give the CRO the ability to alter the vote count or to punish a candidate financially.
If multiple candidates have committed serious offences, to the point of compromising the election process, “the elections administrator may disqualify multiple candidates or declare that the election is invalid.”
What happens if a candidate is disqualified?
Because results are still unofficial, the votes will be recounted with disqualified candidates removed. The updated counts will be shown on the CSU SimplyVoting results page once the process is complete.
This article will be updated as more questions are received.
Do you have any more information about the allegations against CSU election candidates? Message us on our socials, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students are also requested to submit a report to the Elections Administrator, with the option to remain anonymous.