Volume 92, Issue 78

Tuesday, February 16, 1999


Election results not final yet

High rising plans modified

Safety changes put in motion

Mt. Allison back at work after more than three weeks off

Neighbours to consult on mastering plan

Singing for the scroll

Heating things up with ice


Caught on campus

Election results not final yet

By Becky Somerville
Gazette Staff

Ballots for the faculty of media, information and technoculture elections are null and void as the result of distorted information published in the promotional newspaper of the University Students' Council, Pravda.

The Feb. 10 edition of Pravda, which depicted the USC presidential candidates as well as the divisional candidates for the faculties of arts, social science, science and MIT, contained inaccuracies which the USC elections committee deemed a disadvantage for the MIT candidates.

"The information wasn't accurate. They had the right people listed running for the wrong jobs," said Michael Gelfand president of the MIT Students' Council.

Gelfand, who found out Thursday during election night that votes for the MIT elections would not be counted, said he was very disappointed by the confusion caused by Pravda.

"This could have all been solved had they been more careful when they reviewed Pravda," Gelfand said. "[Had the ballots been counted] it would not be fair to the voters because they would be misinformed and it would not be fair to the candidates."

Chief returning officer for the USC Jonathan Coe said he was approached with a complaint by Shawn Pulver, a candidate for MIT councillor, who was described by Pravda as running for a social science position.

Coe said the USC elections committee decided Thursday to hold an in-faculty by-election after slack week in order to remedy the situation and make the election fair for all MIT candidates.

"It's shitty that it happened, yes, but the right course of action has been taken," Coe said. "All candidates should have an equal opportunity." Coe added he would issue letters of apology to all affected candidates.

Warren Tilston, communications officer for the USC, attributed the errors in Pravda to a combination of editorial mistakes, a changed deadline, composing problems and oversight on his part.

"Pravda is 100 per cent my responsibility and these mistakes were missed by myself before it went to print," Tilston said. "Essentially I should have caught the mistake."

Tilston said he was fortunate the students affected by the misinformation were understanding and added the USC would finance costs incurred by the by-election. "It was a lesson well learned."

USC publications editor Dan Yurman ascribed the problems to errors he made in the layout of the paper. He said by the time he had learned of the mistakes in Pravda it had already gone to print.

"I formally apologize for anyone who was affected," Yurman said.

Pulver commended the elections committee's decision to hold a by-election and said it will put all candidates on an equal playing field. "I agree with how it was decided upon to amend it, though it shouldn't have happened in the first place."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999