UMSU elections bring about U-Pass-related complaints

Two complaints were filed against the Fresh slate during the UMSU general elections for using information regarding the U-Pass that the supervising CRO (chief returning officer) ruled was outdated.

The first complaint to be filed, registered as 006-2013 on the official UMSU elections website, claimed that Fresh used out-of-date data during two election forums held on UMFM and in University Centre.

It was mentioned at the 2013 UMSU Election forum by Christian Pierce, Fresh VP external, that the U-Pass proposal would force U of M students to subsidize a portion of the program’s costs for University of Winnipeg students.

Following the complaint, research conducted by the elections CRO concluded that, “not enough concrete information is available to demonstrate a ‘subsidy’ from either university.”

Furthermore, the CRO said in the official ruling on the complaint that “the U-Pass is a group buying program, [and] without the University of Winnipeg’s involvement, no U-Pass deal could be negotiated.”

The penalty assigned for this infraction was an order to both slates that “any written reference about the U-Pass [ . . . ] must be removed and/or corrected, including campaign material and media communiqués.”

Following this complaint, posted Mar. 5, a second complaint (008-2013) was posted because, “as of March 8, no retractions or statements of misinformation regarding the U-Pass were made in the Manitoban.”

It should be noted that, although an update to the original article was posted online shortly thereafter, the Manitoban is not obligated to retract statements on behalf of interview subjects or carry out punitive measures on behalf of election officials.

A five per cent budget reduction was handed down to Fresh executive members Al Turnbull and Christian Pierce as a result.