Your Concordia and Action disqualified from CSU elections

Both the Your Concordia and Action slates have been disqualified from the CSU elections. Despite not issuing any violations during the election period, CEO Oliver Cohen sent an email to all members of both teams Tuesday night informing them of their disqualification. 

He listed “numerous” violations of campaign rules as constituting the disqualification of both teams. These violations include the campaign period and materials, procedures at the polling stations, and election expenses. 

Your Concordia was served with more violations than Action including off campus campaigning and using club resources. Cohen concluded that Your Concordia also filed a false elections expenses return. Due to a typo it is unclear whether both slates or only Your Concordia will not have their elections expenses reimbursed. Members of Your Concordia are prohibited from seeking or holding office for the next two years.

The news comes after both slates signed a peace treaty promising to work together and not file any contestations. 

It is unclear what happens next. Contestations of the CEO’s decision can be filed, and it can be taken to the judicial board. It is possible that the new CSU may not be formed until a by-election is held in the fall. It is also unclear whether independant candidates will win their seats.

Although he remained quiet during the election period, Cohen expressed his dismay at having to make his decision, calling the conduct of the elections “far below the standards”. 

Below are the regulations Cohen determined were breached, taken from his email to all candidates on both slates. The additional violations by Your Concordia are italicized.


The following regulations listed under Sections 4 and 7 of Chapter IV: THE CAMPAIGNING PERIOD were violated: 

Section 4 – Campaigning Period 

185. The campaigning period shall begin 14 days before the polling period and end at midnight the day before the polling period. 

186. Campaign material may be distributed, posted, published, broadcast, or otherwise disseminated only during the election period. 

187. No Executive, Director or employee of the student union, its subsidiary or of a faculty/departmental association, club, service or media organisation may use his or her position to aid in his or her campaign for a CSU elected position. 3 

188. No space or facilities used or maintained by the University and/or the Student Union, its subsidiary or its affiliated groups and associations, may be used for campaign purposes by any candidate unless it is equally available to all other candidates for the same office. 

190. Candidates shall campaign in accordance with the rules of fair play. Breaking the rules of fair play include, but are not limited to, breaching generally accepted community standards, libel, slander, general sabotage of the campaigns of other candidates, and misrepresentation of facts. 

Section 7 – Procedures at the Polling Station 

205. No person may be present at a polling station who is not 

(a) An election officer engaged in the fulfilment of his or her duties; 

(b) An elector who is waiting to vote; 

(c) An elector who is in the process of voting or placing his or her ballot(s) in the ballot box(es). 


(e) No campaign materials shall be within view of a polling station from the beginning until the end of the polling period. 

The following regulations listed under Sections 1 and 3 of Chapter VII, ELECTION AND REFERENDUM EXPENSES were violated; 

Section 1 - Election Expenses 

227. The cost of any goods or services used during an election period to promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, the election of a candidate, or a particular option in a referendum, as the case may be, is an election expense. 

228. Only a candidate or the chairperson of a referendum committee, as the case may be, may incur election expenses. 

229. Any third party wishing to incur an expense relating to the elections must do so by obtaining prior written permission from the Chief Electoral Officer. The Chief Electoral may act to remove any unauthorized materiel or stop any unauthorized activities on behalf of the student union done by a third party. 

230. All sources of revenues for the campaign needs to be disclosed with the return of election expenses. 

231. The maximum amount of election expenses that may be incurred by a candidate for a particular office or a referendum committee is as follows: 

(a) Office of Executive: $750.00 4 

(b) Office of Council, Board of Governors, or University Senate (non-affiliated) -$100.00 

(c) Office of Council, Board of Governors, or University Senate (affiliated) - $50.00 

(d) Referendum Committee - $375.00 

232. Every payment of election expenses must be justified by an invoice showing the name and address of the supplier, the date the goods or services were supplied and the amount of the expense. 

233. The Chief Electoral Officer may establish such procedures regarding the incurring and payment of election expenses as do not contravene these regulations. 

Section 3 - Return of Election Expenses 

236. Every candidate and every chairperson of a referendum committee, as the case may be, must, within 5 days after the close of the poll, file a return of election expenses with the Chief Electoral Officer. This return must be accompanied with the invoices, receipts and other vouchers, and a list thereof. 

IN ADDITION to the provisions enumerated above in respect of which I have found violations, there were a number of Directives which were not respected. Specifically, the following Directives were violated: 


· Each slate, candidate for University Senate or the Board of Governors and referendum committee may place a maximum of two posters per board 

· Candidates for Council may place a maximum of one poster per board 

· The CEO shall designate what boards are to be used for campaigning, no campaign materials will be allowed to be posted outside of those boards 

· Within 72 hours of the close of polls all candidates, referendum committees and slates are responsible to make every reasonable effort to remove and if possible recycle all of their campaign materials posted in the University 

· Candidates who fail to remove their campaign materials posted around the university; will not be reimbursed for any campaign expenditures 

Please note that several postering areas and bulletin boards will be designated for non elections materials such as student events and club events. The areas that are designated for election purposes will be clearly marked. Postering may only take place on available bulletin boards (moveable ones and wall mounted ones) around campus. 5 

In accordance with Concordia's postering policy and my own directives NO POSTERS or other campaign materials may be placed on walls, on glass surfaces, on any ceilings in any elevators or escalators, on painted surfaces, in bathrooms, or in classrooms. If you place a poster on or in one of these places and as a result damage arises (for example you place a poster on a painted surface and removing the poster peels the paint off) you and/or your slate will be held financially responsible. 


• OFF CAMPUS; Because it is impossible to monitor campaigning off campus, posting campaign material off campus will not be allowed. This means that no campaign posters or other materials may be placed in restaurants, convenient stores, or other locations near the downtown or Loyola campus. 

• CLUB RESOURCES; As is stated in the CSU's Electoral Regulations, it is absolutely against the rules to use any resources that belong to CSU clubs, or any other student organizations on campus (such as faculty associations or student media organizations) to benefit your campaign. This is a very serious rule and sanctions will apply to candidates who violate this rule. Although this is a rule that is clearly outlined in the CSU's electoral regulations, I want to stress this in my directives. 

• FACEBOOK; Campaigning is allowed on facebook. In order for a group/event to be used to campaign on facebook, I must be made an administrator on the group. Failure to comply with this rule will result in severe sanctions. 

• ELECTION EXPENSES; Aside from the election expense form that must be completed and submitted after the elections are over, you must provide me with original copies of all your receipts on Tuesday March 22nd. This should include all costs that you have incurred up until Tuesday March 22nd (including the 22nd). This directive applies to all executive slates and all affiliated Council, Board of Governors, and Senate candidates. The deadline to submit these receipts is Tuesday March 22 at 5:00pm and they must be submitted to either myself or one of my election officers at the CEO office (H-462-3). If you do not submit the receipts on time you will be disqualified from the election. This directive is being implemented to better monitor how much candidates spend during the election and ensure no candidates spend too much money. 


· All candidates and referendum committee chairpersons must submit a completed expense form (forms are included in this package and will be available at the CEO office) to the CEO office (H-462-3) by Thursday April 7th at 5:00pm. Any candidate that fails to submit an expense form on time will be disqualified from taking office (if they have won) and will not be reimbursed for campaign expenses (regardless of whether they have won or not). 6 

· CSU Councillor Candidates may spend up to $100, with a maximum $50 reimbursement from CSU Elections. Affiliated Council, University Senate, and Board of Governors candidates may spend a maximum of $50. Referendum Committees may spend up to $375, with a maximum reimbursement of$150 from CSU Elections. Executive Slates may spend up to $750, with a maximum reimbursement of $250 from CSU Elections. 

· All candidates, even those that spend $0 must submit an expense form. 

FURTHERMORE, I find that Your Concordia has filed a false return of election expenses. There have been numerous violations of the provisions of the Regulations governing Election Expenses. In this regard, I direct your attention to Section 1 of Chapter VII of the Regulations. 

It is clear that Your Concordia has either omitted to such a degree, and or, as the case may be, provided information of such a distorted and/or vague, and/or incomplete and/or unclear nature, as to call the information furnished by Your Concordia a false return of election expenses within the meaning of article 243 of Chapter IX, Section 2, of the Regulations. 

Consequently, pursuant to the provisions of said Article 243, Your Concordia is prohibited from seeking or holding office for a period of two years hereafter. 

IN ADDITION, pursuant to Article 235 of the Regulations, Your Concordia has forfeited the right to reimbursement of election expenses.* 


*News Director's note: the last statement was also included in the letter to Action candidates with "Your Concordia" written. It is unclear at this point whether this was intended to be included in Action's letter and whether the ruling applies to them as well.