Sarah Jama appeals her presidential disqualification

If you thought last year's USC elections were a gong show, this year's McMaster University elections are giving us a run for our money.

The parallels are uncanny: surprisingly close results, numerous elections violations, anonymous social media allegations, appeals and a presidential candidate's disqualification.

After surprising results in the race for their student council president, a presidential candidate is appealing her disqualification.

According to the student newspaper, The Silhouette, the actual results of the election are being withheld while candidate Sarah Jama's appeal is ongoing.

The newspaper noted some of the details of a tumultuous campaign period:

"These unexpected results are perhaps a fitting end to one of the most tense and aggressive campaign periods in recent memory. Anonymous accusations of sexual and physical assault against a candidate surfaced on social media, which prompted both an official response by the Women and Gender Equity Network and a discussion on these accusations during the Student Representative Assembly meeting on Sunday, Jan. 25."

Jama was disqualified for two "severe violations" of McMaster's elections rules:

"The first involves an infraction of rule 7.9.1 for exceeding the spending limit of $450 as outlined in rule 6.1, and the second is an infraction of rule 7.9.5, involving the use of material that is considered to be in “bad taste,” defined in rule 2.1 as that which “shall include but not be limited to material that is determined by the Returning Officers to be: sexist, racist, heterosexist, homophobic, pornographic, obscene, derogatory or prejudicial to any member of the McMaster community.”

The recent Facebook post by Jama on her campaign page confirms that the alleged incident in violation of rule 7.9.5 “Bad Taste” was in part a retweet on Jama’s Twitter account of a user that accused one of the candidates of sexual assault."

The appeals period has been extended to this Friday and the minutes of the elections committee's decisions will be released early next week.

On the bright side, voter turnout was an impressive 44.5 per cent, crushing Western's paltry 23.6 per cent from last year.

Keep up to date on the results at The Silhouette's website.


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