USC elections guy canned just before voting
By Mark Brown
With less than a week until the fall student Board of Governors and Senate elections, the University Students' Council announced last night they were forced to fire the chief returning officer.
Steven Wong, who was in charge of the elections, was removed from his position because he was too busy and was unable to devote the time necessary for this demanding position, said USC legal affairs officer Jennifer Quick.
"Things, in our opinion, were not being done properly," she said, adding the decision was nothing personal.
Quick said there is no threat to the upcoming elections since Daniel Meroditz, USC's deputy returning officer, will act in Wong's place as the interim CRO until the elections are complete.
Last year's CRO, Tim Morris, had to become a part-time student so he could effectively fill this post, she said. "This position is an overwhelming position. It requires a lot of time and it is difficult."
Meroditz agreed the position was demanding, adding that was why he turned down the position and ran for DRO. "It requires an administrative person who set deadlines [Wong] didn't have what it takes to be a leader."
Meroditz said he was confident the elections will run smoothly since he has finished his responsibilities for this set of elections and because he has had great support in the office.
Wong understood the decision. "I underestimated the amount of work and unfortunately some of the things I hadn't planned for came to bear on the campaign."
The USC decision did not come as much of a surprise to Wong since he had received some complaints from candidates. "Jennifer Quick had to defend me and the DRO several times because we were inexperienced they had to take some sort of action."
Wong said there were just a lot of little things which built up and began to interfere, preventing a smooth campaign process. He added he had over-extended himself since he is also president of the Canadian Asian International Students' Association.
After the elections Meroditz will resume his position as DRO and the USC will begin to accept applications for a new CRO, Quick said. The CRO position is selected by the USC nominating committee.