CSU Presidential Hopeful Disqualified

Schubert Laforest and One VP Not Registered Students

Schubert Laforest has been disqualified from the CSU general election. Photo Christopher Curtis

Two members of the A Better Concordia slate, including presidential candidate Schubert Laforest, have been disqualified from the 2012 Concordia Student Union general election.

“Schubert Laforest, and [VP Academic and Advocacy candidates] Lucia Gallardo weren’t eligible to run because they aren’t registered students,” said CSU Chief Electoral Officer Ismail Holoubi in an email to The Link.

Though Laforest did not respond to a phone call from The Link, Simon-Pierre Lauzon, the A Better Concordia candidate for VP External and Mobilization, said that the slate would be meeting to discuss a response, and would make more information available once that was done.

“I would feel more comfortable letting Schubert answer that itself, as the answer is complicated and has to do with visa status and other issues that I’m not that familiar with as a Quebec resident,” said Lauzon.

Melanie Hotchkiss, Laforest’s opponent for the presidency, said that she had learned of the disqualification by reading The Link’s article.

At 1:45 p.m., she received an e-mail from Holoubi informing her of the situation, though she said the e-mail did not give a reason, but did say that the ballots in the election would now read only yes, no or abstain as options.

“I was really surprised,” said Hotchkiss. “I find it a bit concerning to know that the two of them weren’t registered students. That means they decided to get nomination signatures knowing they weren’t students, and I think to an extent that shows a bit of a disregard for their team, because that puts their other candidates at a disadvantage.”

Laforest currently holds the position of VP Internal of the Arts and Science Federation of Associations, a position he would be ineligible to hold if he is not a registered Concordia student.

“I don’t really know what to say,” said ASFA President Alex Gordon. “In my mind he is a student, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be. He’s been a student the whole semester and the whole year.”

Gordon said he could not comment further until he found out more details.

Update: In a statement sent out via email, A Better Concordia wrote that “We would like to state that Double Major student Lucia Gallardo and Honours student Schubert Laforest are both registered full-time international students at Concordia University. We are currently in the process of drafting a contestation of the CEO’s unsettling and [sic] decision. We expect to have this issue resolved promptly.”

The statement included photo captions of Laforest and Gallardo’s MyConcordia class and exam schedules.

More to come.

With files from Julian Ward.