I am aware that there has been a lot of chatter today regarding the student election debacle and the disqualification of all tickets bar FRESH. I was running as the VP Gender and Sexuality for PULSE, nominated by the Women’s Collective as their representative. Those of you that don’t know the situation, here comes the answer to your questions.
Last year, the rules regarding nominations (the time a ticket registers their name and members) were that there must be 10 signatures present from the previous year’s ticket members to register the ticket. On Friday 10th, the Student Council (made up of a FRESH majority) passed a secret change that later revealed itself to mean all other tickets were to be given very little notification of the elections and had minimal time to prepare, print t-shirts and flyers etc. These changes also removed the requirement of the 10 signatures to register a ticket name. The name ‘PULSE’ and presumably other previously used opposing ticket names were registered before legitimate members were aware of the rule change, or even the elections for that matter. Hence, the PULSE ticket was disqualified from participation in the elections.
As a result of this, I lost my position as VP Gender and Sexuality under the PULSE ticket, as did every one of my affiliates. I was cast as an ‘Independent’, which means myself or any other PULSE candidate would not appear on the ballot paper. Also, I do not know exact figures, but last year Independents received only approximately 50 votes out of an approximate total of 12, 000. As an obvious choice for our ticket as a whole, the candidates voted to withdraw from election. This enables us to stand as unified, unaffiliated group of students concerned for the State of our Union, and attempts to prevent any accusation that we are outraged purely because we are the opposition.
Technically it would have been possible to re-register another name, but it would have meant my affiliates would have had to pull together an entire campaign, including printed t-shirts, flyers, and strategy between last Friday and today, a feat which would have rendered us unable to counter FRESH’s prepared and well financed campaign even if possible.
We do not know who registered the name of PULSE. While the FRESH Presidential candidate, Rohan Watt, tried to convince me it was due to a division within our own ticket (despite all 3 previously free standing ‘left’ tickets were planning to unite together for this particular election for our united concerns for the Union – this is not the first sign of corruption at UQU by any means), he seemed to know a lot of information about how the fake PULSE was put forward.
Where to from here? Like the page below if you haven’t already, and be prepared to take action.