Press Release – Board of Directors Statement on General Assembly Online Ratification

Press Release – Board of Directors Statement on General Assembly Online Ratification

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 30, 2016

Following SSMU Judicial Board proceedings regarding the online ratification of the General Assembly Motion Supporting the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions Movement, the Board of Directors has reviewed the online ratification process surrounding the motion.

On February 22nd, 2016, a Motion Supporting the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions Movement was approved at the SSMU General Assembly.  The motion was nullified after it failed to pass during its online ratification, a process required for all approved General Assembly Motions.  Due to violations of the Internal Regulations during the online ratification process brought to light through the Judicial Board case, the Board of Directors of the SSMU has decided not to recognize the online ratification results for that individual motion.

As per the Internal Regulations of Elections and Referenda as they stood at the time of the online ratification, the involvement of external groups is prohibited during the online ratification of General Assembly Motions, as is any form of campaigning.  During the online ratification of the Motion Regarding Support for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement, the use of phone and email lists, paid advertisements, social media campaigning, and the use of polling booths by groups within and outside of the Society were used, in violation of the Internal Regulations.

The Board of Directors recognizes that the involvement of external groups and the existence of campaigning in contravention of the Internal Regulations of Elections and Referenda impeded the democratic process, and the spirit of a fair campaign was not upheld.  As a result, the Board of Directors has struck the Internal Regulation prohibiting campaigning for the online ratification of General Assembly motions.  Following future General Assemblies, campaigning will be permitted during online ratification.

Despite the online ratification not being valid due to violations of the Internal Regulations, the Board of Directors has elected not to place the motion back before the Membership for online re-ratification. The motion will not be brought back for an online vote due to logistical constraints, namely the turnover in SSMU membership following the end of 2015-2016 academic year and the infeasibility of conducting a vote during the summer months, as well as procedural delays regarding the petition brought forward against the Society.

Because a new online ratification is not possible, the motion will not be adopted as a position of the SSMU.

Questions regarding the General Assembly motion, its online ratification, or the subsequent Judicial Board case can be directed to the SSMU President and Chair of the Board of Directors at president@ssmu.mcgill.ca.

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