SGPS presidential election results nullified by Judicial Committee

University District

AAC Academic Grievance Centre

President Adam Grotsky calls on committee to justify the nullification

The SGPS offices in the JDUC.
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In a statement released Feb. 7, the SGPS Judicial Committee announced the nullification of the Presidential election results. The committee said in the statement, “no other election or referenda questions are affected by this decision.”

The Judicial Committee recommended the SGPS Council should “appoint either Stephanie McKnight or Tyler Morrison as the incoming SGPS President at the February 13th Council meeting.”

In their statement, the Judicial Committee said each voting SGPS Councillor shall have one vote, as per SGPS policy. McKnight and Morrison will participate in a 45-minute debate, followed immediately by a secret ballot vote.

The candidate who receives a simple majority of votes will be named the president-elect, “subject to subsequent ratification by SGPS Council at that same meeting.”

“Both McKnight and Morrison have taken a leave of absence from their current SGPS Vice President roles until the Council meeting. Additionally, no campaigning will occur by either candidate during this time, apart from participation in the debate,” the statement continued.

On Jan. 31, The Journal reported that Stephanie McKnight had received 52.5 per cent of the vote and was elected President of the SGPS. McKnight beat out opponent Tyler Morrison, who received 47.5 per cent of the vote.

In response to the Judicial Committee’s decision, current SGPS President Adam Grotsky released a statement addressing the nullification. 

“The SGPS relies on the separation of powers between the executive, judicial and legislative branches of our organization — such a system provides indispensable checks and balances on power,” Grotsky wrote. “While I accept the authority of the SGPS Judicial Committee to nullify the results of the presidential election, I do not accept its lack of transparency.” 

“A decision that throws aside the will of the student body, in an election that saw the Society’s highest voter turnout on record, must be accompanied by a justification of that decision,” he continued.

Grotsky then called on the committee to release an updated statement with a full explanation of the circumstances which led to the decision. He further noted the Judicial Committee is comprised of seven members of the SGPS Council, meaning their decision to have Council select the next president “blurs the line between judicial and legislative branches.”

“SGPS Council cannot act as both judge and jury,” Grotsky wrote. “At the start of the February 13. Council meeting, I will call for a by-election to be held between Stephanie McKnight and Tyler Morrison, and I urge Council for their support.”

Additionally, Grotsky wrote he “will not tolerate the harassment” of his peers, though it was unclear who he was referring to. “The behavior and conduct that I have witnessed is not acceptable and does not reflect the student body I am proudly a part of.”

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