By Natalie Sit
In another election development, Chief Returning Officer Shuvaloy Majumdar is in danger of breaking Students’ Union bylaws when a resolution allowing him to extend the deadline to report to SLC about the general election failed. If he does not submit his summary of the election and expenses by Fri., Mar. 12, Majumdar could contravene election bylaws.
In a letter to Student Legislative Council Tue., Mar. 9, Majumdar asked SLC to “acknowledge the extraordinary demands of the election” and allow him to report at the Tue., Mar. 16 SLC meeting. SU election bylaws require the CRO to report after every election, by-election, referendum and plebiscite within 20 SU business days. A resolution was introduced but it failed with six in favour and six opposed.
While Majumdar withheld comment on the matter, the letter explained why he needed to extend the deadline.
“Over the past two weeks, I have been simply overwhelmed by the extraordinary amount of work that is required to ensure that a complete and final product is prepared for students,” wrote Majumdar. “I have shared my progress in these areas with Vice-President [Events Richard] Bergen and Vice-President [External Lauren] Batiuk, and have described to them the difficulties I have faced in preparing a complete report for you this evening.”
SU President Jayna Gilchrist said a emergency meeting could be called for Fri., Mar. 12 to accommodate Majumdar.
“Whatever happens, if there is a violation, since SLC has ultimate management over the CRO, there will be a discussion in SLC on Tuesday on how to proceed,” said Gilchrist.
At the Tue., Mar. 9 meeting, some were concerned the delay is part of larger pattern.
“It seems every election we have, he has a hard time getting election expenses in on time, even during the by-election,” said SU Academic Commissioner Beth Counsell. “I don’t think a huge election has anything to do with it. I think he has shown in the past he’s always had difficulty getting things done on time. It’s a repeated thing we’ve had to deal with.”
Batiuk replied that some in- dividuals’ expenses have “bogged down” the CRO and she understands why there is a delay.
“It’s just expenses, it’s HR, it’s follow-up, it’s everything that is the CRO position that has been tripled or quadrupled because we are looking at over 88 individuals he’s been dealing with and it’s a big deal,” said Batiuk.
In order for Majumdar to make the deadline, an emergency SLC meeting would have to be called for Fri., Mar. 12.