UPDATE: ASFA Restructure Referendum Might Not Go Back To Ballot

Procedure Wasn’t Properly Followed, Question May Be Pulled From Ballot

ASFA council meeting from March 10, 2016. File Photo Josh Fischlin

Arts and Science students might not have a second chance to restructure the student association representing them.

The contentious referendum question meant to change the Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ bylaws might not go back to ballot in the upcoming general election, despite passing a motion to do so at a special council meeting on March 24.

The question to change ASFA’s bylaws and restructure the federation was initially struck down during polling from March 16 to 18. It lost by 52 votes, garnering 277 “yes” and 329 “no” votes.

ASFA councillors Lizzy Duong and Danick Carpenter contested the motion to put the question back to ballot because the procedure used to call a referendum was not done correctly.

According to ASFA b-law 164, “the calling of a referendum shall require a two-thirds majority vote of Council at a duly convened meeting.”

Councillors Jason Poirier Lavoie and Katie Nelson called the special council meeting with the intention to put three questions to ballot.

According to ASFA general coordinator Jenna Cocullo, Poirier Lavoie and Nelson’s “interpretation” was that they could add the questions onto the upcoming election to appoint next year’s executive team. However, the proper procedure was not respected.

“To call a referendum is a separate process, and I guess that process was not followed,” Cocullo said.

The motion to put the question back to ballot passed with nine in favour and seven against—less than the 66 per cent required to pass.

The question might not be asked to students because “the referendum was technically never called,” Cocullo said.

The Judicial Committee will convene soon to discuss whether or not the question will go back to ballot.

Polling for ASFA’s general election begins on April 6 and ends April 8.

Correction: in the initial iteration of this article, it stated that the question will not go back to ballot. However, the Judicial Committee has the final say on this matter, and will officially make the decision soon. The Link regrets the error.