Record-low five members acclaimed to Board of Directors in Thunder Bay, Orillia goes to polls

“Exceptionally bad” decision locks out two potential candidates in Thunder Bay

“Exceptionally bad” decision locks out two potential candidates in Thunder Bay

By Jon Pukila

Staff Writer

“Congratulations Thunder Bay, you have all been acclaimed,” proclaimed LUSU Chief Returning Officer (CRO) Maggie Ryan to kick off the All-Candidates Meeting for the 2012 LUSU Board of Directors elections.

Attendance at this meeting is mandatory if candidates wish to run for a position on the LUSU Board of Directors. A record-low five people submitted nomination packages in Thunder Bay on Friday, a mere three over the minimum threshold of two seats.

Therefore, the Thunder Bay component of the 2012-2013 LUSU Board of Directors was acclaimed, which means that no election was held, and that those running won by default, due to a lack of opposition. Thunder Bay’s new board members are Tyler Cook, Sahid Hansen, Kathleen Connerton, Daniel Bacsa, and David Ivany.

The location of the All-Candidates Meeting was originally scheduled to be held in the LUSU boardroom in UC-2020. Due to construction in the room, which has been ongoing all summer, the meeting’s location was changed to the boardroom in AT-3004.

To notify candidates, a sticky note with a message of the change was attached to the nomination packages. However, it fell off from veteran board member David Bates’s package, causing him confusion when he arrived alone at the original location. Learning of the new room, he ran across campus to the third floor of the ATAC, but was late for the meeting by 30 seconds. Left to the discretion of the CRO, Bates was not allowed to enter the room and run for a position.

Also locked out was current board member Adam Methot, who was representing hopeful candidate Carolyne Stevens. Methot was two minutes late after waiting for VP Finance Steven Ackroyd in the Study to accompany him to the new location. Methot was so upset by Stevens’s lost opportunity to represent Lakehead students, he admitted that he was “contemplating dropping out at this time.”

Bates slammed the CRO’s decision to exclude the two candidates as “exceptionally bad,” noting that the board of directors “frequently fails to fill its seats.” He also questioned the legitimacy of the decision due to the last-minute room change and the method in which this was communicated.

“Last year there were quite a few vacancies…. I feel that some competition and a democratic process would best serve the student population,” Bates said.

However, the CRO was unwavering in her response. “There’s no exceptions to the rule. I can’t be lenient enough,” Ryan said via videoconference from Orillia. “The best I can say is I’m sorry, but rules are rules.”

While Thunder Bay’s component has been acclaimed, an election will be held for the three seats on the Orillia component of the board. The four candidates running there are Sheldon Walker, Julie Stewart, Mark Arkell and Jay Bragan. Ryan indicated that this is the first time in history an election is being held for Orillia board members.

New to this year’s election are rules prohibiting the use of “letterbombing,” or dumping flyers in locations on campus. This is prohibited due to the fact it violates university fire codes.

The remainder of the meeting consisted of questions and answers, with no response from Thunder Bay.