The union’s regulations require 72 hours notice to hold an emergency ERC meeting, and the union needed to finalize their rules by Wednesday night, in time for the nomination period for elections to open on Thursday. Several prominent opposition members had previously indicated to The Varsity that they would likely not pursue defederation referenda this year if online voting passed at the board meeting. Rishi Maharaj, president of the Engineering Society and Sam Greene, co-head of Trinity College, will meet with vice-provost, students Jill Matus on Thursday to discuss next steps.A motion calling for online voting in UTSU elections was narrowly approved Tuesday night at the second part of the UTSU’s special general meeting (SGM), by a vote of 575–567.
UTSU president Shaun Shepherd said he was disappointed that repeated attempts to “offer the olive branch” to college heads had been ignored or rebuffed. Several colleges and faculties whose leaders backed the motion announced Sunday that they were considering severing ties with the union.“I’m just so fed up with this school,” said Shepherd in the aftermath of the vote.The motion called for online voting to be implemented in time for the upcoming UTSU election, and for the other recommendations of the Non-Partisan Declaration on Electoral Reform to be examined again.An emergency meeting of the Elections & Referenda Committee (ERC) was held directly after the SGM. The Varsity was barred from attending that meeting.
Shepherd said the committee would make a formal recommendation to a regularly-scheduled meeting of the UTSU’s Board of Directors set for tomorrow.“Irrespective of whether or not we agree with them, we have to honour them — that’s democracy,” said Shepherd, explaining that he planned to speak in favour of implementing online voting at Wednesday’s board meeting. Shepherd said his only concern was logistical: that the Office of Student Life would not be able to implement online voting in time.Corey Scott, UTSU vice-president, internal & services and an ERC member, suggested during discussion of the motion that the university administration could not oversee the vote as it was a “conflict of interest,” since the university had an interest in the outcome of the election.