Shawn Manahan has won the race to become next year’s Humber Students’ Federation president after current president and poll favourite Timothy Brilhante was disqualified on Thursday night.
Manahan was tired but had a smile on his face as he came out of the meeting.
“I feel good, I’m a little jittery on caffeine but overall I’m happy…. There was some dispute over the appeals process,” he said.
The candidates met at Lakeshore campus at 4:30 p.m. on Friday to reveal the results and to sign off on how the election was run. Candidates also had the chance to bring up any problems they had with the election.
The meeting lasted for two and a half hours, with several candidates bringing up issues they had with the elections and appeals process.
After a long discussion, everyone signed off and the results were released.
But Brilhante plans to appeal the decision to disqualify him.
“I was notified last night that I received a strike towards my disqualification… There was questioning my campaign practices, which I dispute completely and I challenge our democratic process, and I’m just asking for the opportunity to file an appeal, just to have my case heard in front of a committee instead of one individual,” said Brilhante.
He noted other candidates also “felt disconcerted with the officiating of the process itself.”
Brilhante was ahead in the polls at the time of his disqualification. Humber Life tweeted that 5470 people voted in the elections. Manahan won 1051 votes, followed by Savoie with 995 votes, and Tracey with 796 votes.
Regarding Brilhante’s disqualification, Manahan said, “Stuff was done that would have changed the elections and cheapened them… I mean when it comes down to it you’re getting strikes and breaking or bending the rules, you know especially enough to get disqualified, it is what it is.”
HSF’s Chief Returning Officer Natalia Toussaint was a key figure in disqualifying Brilhante.
“It was long, there was a lot of discussion, which I think was good… there were a few candidates that had things that they wanted to discuss, so that’s what took a long time,” she said of the meeting.
“The conclusion was that everyone signed the release form, so no one had an issue with the validity of the election process,” she said.
As for future of HSF election process, some changes might be coming.
Toussaint said the HSF and governance board are reevaluating the elections and appeals policy.
“They’re going to be taking a look at the entire thing, and then all the candidates from the meeting are going to be giving the Chair of the Governance Review Board their grievances or issues they have with the policy,” she said.
Among possible changes is the rewording of the policy to make it clearer, she explained.
Ahmed Tahir, who won for VP Student Life, North campus, was grinning from ear to ear, despite the long meeting.
“I’m so happy, relieved, and just all the hard work, all the twerking, all the bananas… all the work I put in beforehand with the students, it just seemed like it paid off. I’m just so glad that I can represent the students in the fun way that I would like to do. I can’t stop smiling,” he said.
As for Brilhante, he had nothing but positive things to say about Manahan.
“I think we know the results, we can calculate them, but ultimately I look forward to transitioning Shawn. I think he’s a good leader on campus and it would be my pleasure to make sure he hits the ground running,” said Brilhante.
The future of the Election and Appeals policy is still uncertain, but it’s clear that Brilhante’s disqualification played a big role in it, after many students voiced their discontent over Twitter and Facebook.
The other HSF election winners were:
Ahmed Tahir – VP Student Life, North Campus
Dylan Rudder – VP Student Life, Lakeshore Campus
Odin Von Doom – VP Student Affairs, North Campus
Candace Pellew – VP Student Affairs, Lakeshore Campus
Rafael Gouvveia and Eric Collings – North Campus Board of Directors
Maria Artiga, James Pashutinski and Ayesha Azhar – Lakeshore campus Board of Directors
Joane Dumo and Erik Divito – Guelph-Humber Board of Directors
Kayla McTaggart – Orangeville Board of Directors