ASFA Elections Unique in More Ways Than One

A Resignation, A Tight Race and A Tie Highlight the Results

Paul Jerajian was re-elected as the Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ president in the elections last week. Courtesy of ASFA

Last week’s Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ elections set themselves apart from others in the past with the sudden resignation of a new executive, the election of a candidate by just one vote and the tied vote of two other councillors.

“It’s like, ‘What’s going on with these elections?’” said ASFA chief electoral officer Trevor Wilkinson of the elections peculiarities.

Topping the list is newly appointed VP External Affairs and Sustainability Charles Bourassa handing in his resignation upon hearing news of his election.

“[I was] offered to run and affiliate with other candidates in the upcoming [Concordia Student Union] elections […] the day ASFA elections began,” Bourassa explained in his resignation email, forwarded to The Link. He said Wilkinson told him to wait and see if he was elected before resigning.

Bourassa’s position is now vacant and will be filled in a byelection in the fall. ASFA will soon be taking applications for an interim executive in the meantime, “although I don’t really know what they’d be doing since school’s out for the summer,” said Wilkinson.

Bourassa’s position was one of 10 contested in the election, a rare phenomenon according to Wilkinson, who said most of ASFA’s seven executive and five independent councillor positions are usually left uncontested. Last week’s elections saw a total of 15 candidates run for executive spots with another eight running for the five independent councillor positions.

The elections saw Paul Jerajian stay on as president in one of the two positions that went uncontested.

“I’m excited that we have a team of pretty solid candidates that seem enthusiastic. There are a lot of important issues that came up in the last couple months that need to be dealt with, like measures to make orientation safer,” said Jerajian.

“It can be tough to do so when there’s such a turnaround, so it’s nice to have two people that are still on as well.”

Sean Nolan also was re-elected to his position as VP Social Affairs.

Joining the team for the first time is Veronic Godbout, who won the VP Internal race with 108 votes—only one more than her opponent Jenna Cocullo.

“I’m happy, but I didn’t know how to feel about that because that’s so close,” Godbout said.

Godbout will replace Francis Boyer next semester as the new VP Internal Affairs, whose role is to oversee the management of ASFA’s member associations.

Before ASFA pushed back the deadline to run for the position by two days, there had been no applications.

“We made a major push and I think that’s what did it. We don’t typically send out mass emails, but we did it for this and it seems to have worked,” said Wilkinson.

The other newly appointed executives are Melina Ghio as VP Finance, Justin Caruso in the VP Communications position and Patricia Martone as VP Academic and Loyola, the only other position that went uncontested apart from president.

The elections also saw a 132-vote tie between independent councillor candidates Alex Longinotti and Basma Ben Moussa.

As a result, ASFA’s council—made up of a member of each of its 28 member associations and its independent councillors—will have to decide whether to allow there to be six councillors as opposed to the usual five.

“I made the official recommendation that council let them both on since the same number of people wanted them appointed, but it’ll be up to them,” said Wilkinson.

The four other elected independent councillors are Léa Lacroix, Justin Occhionero, and Crystal Harrison and James Vaccaro, the latter two of whom are currently CSU executives.