CBW acclaimed as new executive

Chinniah, Beaudry, Wright win after submitting only nomination package

From left: Catherine Wright, Kanivanan Chinniah and Kyle Beaudry.
From left: Catherine Wright, Kanivanan Chinniah and Kyle Beaudry.
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The AMS acclaimed Team CBW — Kanivanan Chinniah, Kyle Beaudry and Catherine Wright — as the incoming 2015-16 executive team late Wednesday night.

Chinniah will serve as president, and Beaudry and Wright as vice-president of operations and vice-president of university affairs, respectively.

CBW was the only team to fulfill the nomination and eligibility requirements by the close of the nomination period at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The requirements are 800 signatures of current AMS members, payment of the AMS specific fee, membership in an AMS-constituent student society and attendance at a mandatory all-candidates meeting.

Also present at the all-candidates meeting was a Team BTB, consisting of Dylan Braam, Steven Bruch and Jessalynn Tsang. However, BTB failed to submit a nomination package and were ineligible for consideration to be put on the ballot, AMS Chief Electoral Officer Chris Casher said.

Casher, ArtSci ’15, added that BTB confirmed they were no longer seeking to run.

He consulted with Chief Returning Officer Tyler Lively and the Elections Team before acclaiming CBW as the incoming executive.

“The event of only one team running is never explicitly explained within AMS executive elections policy,” Casher said.

“What is there is a provision that in the event that a situation arises which is not explicitly explained by the policy … I’m permitted to make a decision based upon the intentions of the executive elections policy, and election by acclamation meets all of these intentions.”

Casher said the “overriding intention” of election policy is to ensure a level playing field so that the elections are fair for all teams.

“Election by acclamation represents a fair election process because all students who are AMS members were eligible to run in the process,” he said, adding that the elections process was “properly advertised” and all information was available to all AMS members.

“We feel that it’s unfair to create special circumstances when one team has taken all the appropriate steps and has fully completed all of the requirements that they have to in order to run,” he added, referring to the possibility of reopening nominations or holding a vote of confidence.

Braam, Sci ’15, told the Journal via email that BTB couldn’t fulfill nomination requirements because of confusion around certain dates, and Tsang was unable to run.

“Stephen and I were actually looking for a new candidate by the time the All-Candidates meeting came around, but were unable to find someone else who would have been a good fit with our group,” Braam said.

“Subsequently, we put Jessalynn’s name down with the intention of changing it, but Jessalynn was not at the meeting.”

He added that they were “disappointed” they couldn’t run in this year’s election.

The last time an AMS executive team won by acclamation was in 1990, after one team dropped out of the race following allegations of sexual assault made against the presidential candidate. The 1983-84 AMS executive were also acclaimed when the second team was disqualified for not meeting the minimum signature requirements.

Instead of debates, the incoming executive will host public forums to meet with students and discuss future initiatives.

“This opportunity is going to be something different for us than we were expecting and we’re going to use it to consult as many students as we can … and really gauge as much feedback from students as we want,” said Beaudry, Comm ’15.

“And we can hear what they want from their AMS too, and we’re going to try to do that to the best of our ability over these next 10 days.”

Chinniah, ArtSci ’15, added that the team was “very humbled” by their election and excited to consult students through the public forums.

Their platform will be made publicly available, but they declined to discuss what’s in it.

“Unfortunately right now, I don’t think we’ll delve into that, but it will be released before these public forums,” said Wright, ArtSci ’15.

“Students will have the opportunity to take a look at our ideas and then be able to ask us questions on it, and suggest new ideas perhaps.”

The public forums will be held on Jan. 19 and 20 in the JDUC.

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