On October 17th and 18th 2018, the Students’ Union of the University ofRegina Inc. (URSU) held a by-election to fill a number of vacant seats on their board of directors, including the position of President.
In the case of the presidential race, the URSU Elections Committee was tasked with investigating several allegations and reports of violations of the URSUElection and Referendum By-Law. The resulting decision of the Committee was that Mr. Sukhdeep Brar be disqualified as a candidate and named Mr. Shawn Wiskar as winner of the Presidential race.
The Board did not immediately ratify the decision of the ElectionsCommittee as several directors raised concerns as to whether or not due process was followed and if the Elections Committee interpreted the By-Law and applied appropriate sanctions in a fair and equitable manner. It was also unclear as to the Board’s authority in overturning a decision made by the Chief Returning Officer (CRO) and/or the Elections Committee. As a result, the Board of Directors made the decision to engage an independent third-party, Runyowa Law, to investigate the possibility and appropriateness of overturning the URSU Elections Committee decision. The report from Runyowa Law indicated that constitutionally URSU’s Board of Directors could overturn the URSU Elections Committee decision. However, the jurisdiction to overturn is not necessarily the same as the right to do so under any circumstances. Hence it further recommended that the Board should only exercise this authority and intervene in its own governing processes in the event of demonstrable incompetence, bad faith or negligent conduct on the part of the CRO or Elections Committee. Runyowa Law found no evidence of bad faith or negligence on the part of the CRO or the Elections Committee. For this reason, the URSU board of directors made the decision to ratify Mr. Shawn Wiskar as President of URSU on Friday, December 14th,2018.
“We recognize that the delay in the ratification of President has caused concerns for many students. It is our hope that our membership recognizes the due diligence we took to ensure that the electoral and investigative process of URSU was as fair and just as possible,” said Jermain McKenzie, Vice-President of Student Affairs. “Thanks to the reports of both the CRO and Runyowa Law, we will be able to improve our constitution and electoral process to avoid further similar situations in the future.”
Mr. Shawn Wiskar will begin his role as President of URSU as of December17th, 2018. URSU would like to wish Mr. Wiskar all the best in his new role. URSU has made significant improvements in recent years to serve students better, and we hope that Mr. Wiskar is able to build on the work that has been done so far.
A copy of the report from Runyowa Law and from the CRO is available on the URSU website at https://ursu.ca/about-ursu/elections/2018-ursu-fall-by-elections/
For additional information, please contact:
Vice-President of Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-586-8811 Ext212.