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DSU election appeals rejected

Aaron Beale will bring his appeal to the Judicial Board. Photo by Angela Gzowski

The appeals made by presidential and vice-presidential candidates Jamie Arron and Aaron Beale to overturn their disqualifications were unsuccessful, the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) elections committee announced March 8.

Both candidates are now expected to meet with the committee’s Judicial Board, which will make the final decision regarding their fines.

Both were disqualified for incurring $100 or more in fines. The committees, in reconsidering whether the fines were fair, determine if Arron and Beale were in fact disqualified for executive positions in the DSU.

From the candidates’ side, the process involved submitting evidence to the committee that may not have been available previously. Beale, a VP (academic and external) candidate, was handed a $165 fine for campaigning in the post-campaign period, which was incurred when 29 of his handbills were found posted in Howe Hall. According to the committee, a Dal student emailed them on Feb. 24 claiming responsibility for the campaigning, and added that it occurred without Beale’s knowledge or encouragement.

Beale argued that he exercised due diligence during his campaign, and he ought not be penalized for something out of his control. The committee ruled that Beale should have taken preventative steps; for example, not leaving his handbills unattended.

Because Beale’s fine for post-campaigning in Howe Hall is over $100, his appointment as vice-president is dependent on it being overturned. He is confident this will happen when the Judicial Board examines his case.

“If I’m disqualified, then next year you’ll probably see every single candidate get disqualified,” says Beale, “because everyone will know how easy it is to disqualify them. It’s such a dangerous precedent to set.”

Jamie Arron appealed five fines of $20. For him to be appointed president, the Judicial Board must deem at least one of these fines void.

For example, in a statement from the DSU elections committee it is said that Arron argued that his fine for “failure to remove DSU footage from campaign video” was invalid because the footage did not belong to the DSU. However, the elections committee rejected the appeal because, they say, “the matter of ownership of the video is irrelevant to the fine.”

A separate fine was levied on Feb. 13 for using DSU footage, and because Arron did not appeal that one, the committee said in the statement they “deliberated based on the assumption that that first fine was still valid.”

Upon receiving written notification of their appeal status, the candidates have five school days to write to the Judicial Board.

“I find this whole thing kind of concerning,” says Beale. “I just think students are going to lose hope in the elections process.”

Daniel Boltinsky
Daniel Boltinsky
Daniel currently serves as the Gazette's Copy Editor. He was the News Editor for Volume 145.
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