BREAKING: Grassroots Appeal Ruled Unsuccessful
WORDS BY EDEN FAITHFULL
After almost two weeks of anticipation, the excluded Grassroots SRC tickets have heard that the outcome of their appeal has been unsuccessful.
As previously reported by Pulp, the Returning Officer advised Grassroots that they had failed to submit nomination forms before the advertised time of 4:30pm, and their seventeen tickets were therefore excluded from the SRC elections.
Only a matter of days after the appeal had been lodged, the ELA directly contacted the appeallants informing them that they would need to argue their case opposite Graham at a meeting where the judgement would be handed down.
At five o’clock this evening, campaign managers Daniel Ergas and Liam Donohoe, presidential candidate Imogen Grant and Electoral Officer (EO) Pauline Graham met with the Electoral Legal Arbiter (ELA) to argue their cases and hear the determination.
The case Ergas brought to the ELA claimed that precedence had already dictated ticket nominations handed in shortly after the deadline could be accepted if the nominees were already in the room at the time, citing Cameron Caccamo’s previously accepted late SRC nominations.
Further, they argued that the regulations are ambiguous in regards to the meaning of a "4:30pm deadline". While Graham contends in her email to Ergas that there could be no ambiguity surrounding the exact time of the deadline given that “each year [she] stands in the SRC foyer and counts down the time left to lodge a nomination for the last 10 minutes”, Ergas argues that “if nominations are accepted no later than 4:30pm, it implies that nominations will be accepted up until and at 4:30pm (up until 4:30:59pm, in other words)”. Therefore, Grassroots argue that the submission of the nominations at 4:30:10pm should be considered acceptable.
Graham’s case has not yet been made available to Pulp.
Grant has issued a statement saying that she is “incredibly disappointed” in the ELA’s decision, claiming it is “a clear instance of bias against Grassroots candidates”.
“I’m running for President, and we’re running for Council, not in spite of this ruling, but because of it – we need an SRC that is inclusive, and that represents all students. Not just those who can afford the upfront fees,” Grant says in the statement.
The decision complicates the election for Grassroots with only a small number of tickets supporting candidate Imogen Grant in the lead up to their bid for the SRC Presidency. The left-wing faction will now be running entirely under the Independently-branded ‘Switch’, with only sixteen tickets in the race.
Nonetheless, Grant claims she is “committed to running a strong, left-wing campaign … to rally against the corporatisation of the university, against racism, rape culture and homophobia, and to stand up for students’ rights.”
"I don’t think that anyone would disagree that we’re the underdogs in this election. But that’s just how we like it," Grant said.