Wednesday, 27 November 2013

What's Really Been Going On At Royal Holloway

I've been interested, as you probably know, by the situation at Royal Holloway CF at the moment. The thing that is really getting me is we don't know what has happened. I have thus put on my press hat and done some investigating into what is actually going on at Royal Holloway.

Let's examine the facts.

First off I wanted to clear the shroud of what the hell happened at the election itself. The reason why nobody actually knows what happened is because Royal Holloway SU has this bizarre voting system which resembles a game of heads down thumbs up. An SU officer asks everyone to put their heads down, close their eyes and then vote for a candidate by sticking their hands up. The SU officer then counts the number of votes and announces which candidate has the most votes. The candidates themselves are not allowed in the room so the only person to see the results is the SU officer.

What's going on?
In the case of the Royal Holloway CF the votes at first came out as a tie, dead equal for Sarah Jane and Antonia Jade. Then a second round took place which resembled the first way of voting and at least one person changed their vote so that Antonia Jade was elected. We don't know the exact results because #ThingsElliottSays has been unable to contact the SU officer present. There is no doubt that Antonia Jade after 2 rounds of voting had the most votes to become President of Royal Holloway CF.

Also you may have heard that Sarah Jane has issued a complaint of electoral misconduct, this is true. However what you may not know is that the complaint does not have anything to do with the fact that SJ lost the election. Her claim is that the election is invalid because in an argument before the election took place Sarah Jane has alleged that Antonia Jade told people not to vote for her and that this put her at an unfair disadvantage during the election.

All this exclusive info is courtesy of information from people who were there.

I've had a gander at the Royal Holloway SU rules on elections and voting (you can see it here). Although it clearly states '12.2 Any full member of the Students’ Union is eligible to assert a complaint, even if they be a Candidate or Campaign Team Member' I'm really unsure what grounds Sarah Jane has in issuing a complaint. This is because, be it through an argument or not, what Sarah Jane is asserting is canvassing of opinion, which is completely legitimate.

Indeed the Royal Holloway SU guidelines says '5.1 Publicity and canvassing shall be allowed by candidates. This shall not interfere with Students' Union or College facilities or be posted in polling areas.' and that '5.2 All statements made during the election period must be factually correct, accurate and provable when questioned. Misrepresentation of other candidates is prohibited. This includes all publicity, manifestos and speeches / answers given by candidates.' If SJ has any basis for her complaint it would be in the term 'misrepresentation' which if you stretch the meaning as a stand alone word may possibly construe the alleged actions as misrepresentation. The chances of that being acceptable however is slim because the meaning specifically refers to false information. 'Don't vote for Sarah Jane' isn't really an information statement.

Hectic days ahead for the democracy office at Royal Holloway SU.

So I hope that has cleared a lot up about this election because to me its been very shrouded. We have to wait for the result of Sarah Jane's complaint which in all likelihood will fail as it seems to have no basis and seems like just being sour.

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