“Lack of awareness” caused confusion about CFRC referendum question: AMS

Society used anecdotal evidence in appeal ruling

Society used “anecdotal evidence” in ruling to run CFRC referendum again.
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In a rare step, the AMS will add CFRC back on the referendum ballot in March after gathering “anecdotal evidence” about a complaint the station made alleging students didn’t understand the question posed in the winter referendum.

CFRC lodged an appeal after 52.7 per cent of students voted against establishing a mandatory fee for the station in a referendum last month. On Feb. 6, the AMS announced CFRC would run again for the mandatory fee in March. Chief Electoral Officer Grace Baxter made the ruling.

“The elections team verified the allegation using anecdotal evidence provided by students over various platforms such as email and through conversation,” AMS Director of Communications Ananya Chakraborty wrote in an email to The Journal.

The Society didn’t say how many students it heard from on the matter.

In a press release, the Society wrote “many students believed that if the CFRC fee lost this referendum it would remain as an optional fee. This was not the case and was not communicated clearly.”

“Due to the nature of the concerns brought to our attention, and the lack of student awareness of the tri-annual review process, we determined that this impacted more students than just those who brought it up,” Chakraborty wrote.

The CFRC question that appeared on last month’s ballot was phrased the same as the questions for the AMS Food Bank and Golden Words, both of which succeeded in gaining mandatory fee status.

According to Chakraborty, the Food Bank, which underwent triennial review in October, would have remained on the fee slate as an optional fee if it had failed in the referendum.

Golden Words was successful in the referendum and therefore did not put forward any complaint, unlike CFRC,” she said.

Chakraborty said CFRC’s attempt to have their fee made mandatory coincided with the triennial review, a process by which students choose whether to support the continuation of fees every three years.

“In the March election, they will just be undergoing tri-annual review, and if they succeed, they will have an optional fee on the slate for the next three years. This was communicated in a combination of emails and in person meetings.”

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