Hey if you’re in arts, you can vote in the AUS elections right now. Vote until the 30th. The polling booths are supposed to be on either entrance of the SUB and somewhere in Buchanan, 10-5pm.

Also, since the people running the elections did not specify how many people you can vote for in some positions, here are the specifics: 11 General Officers, and 7 AMS reps (correct me if I’m wrong)

As to their write ups and who’s running – there are no write ups and a list of who’s running is also not on the AUS official website. But there’s an unofficial list here (see two posts down). So I guess, vote for your friends? What an….. interesting way to run an election. If you have Facebook you have to join “Aus Elections” (and they have to approve you as a friend) in order to see the write ups of some candidates.

I asked Stephanie Ryan (AUS President incumbent) where I could receive the information on where the polling booths would be, here was her reply:
“i’m not sure, but i do know that the candidates will be able to tell their friends where to go and that we’ve hit 3 major entrance-ways and that our booths will be well-labelled, so in 5 days most Arts students will probably stumble across a voting booth at at least one point in time”

While I agree that a lot of arts students will be able to see the booths, I don’t think this reliance on having the candidates tell their friends where to go vote is a smart idea for two reasons:
1) The campaign period ended on the 23rd before voting began on the 26th, and the information on ballot locations wasn’t available until the 25th. So you would technically be breaking the rules on campaigning unless you contacted every single friend on a “private conversation” basis to let them know where they could vote.
2) Relying on “telling your friends” skews the elections once again towards voting for your friend. Especially since the write-ups of candidates are not even accessible unless you check Facebook and memorize who you want to vote for and then try to remember the list of people at the poll.


33 Comments so far

  1. Stephanie Ryan on March 27, 2007 6:36 am

    Hi Gina, I just wanted to clarify a few things:
    1) Campaigning did not end until the night of the 25th (the period was extended, and all candidates were notified) and so they were indeed able to tell all those interested in voting where the exact locations of the booths are.
    2) There are 5 buildings in the Buchanan Complex, and only 2 contain public space where an elections booth might possibly be. Those interested in voting will be able to find the booth in Block A- it’s really not rocket science.
    3) While it was not possible to post our candidate write-ups on the AUS website, the Elections Committee has printed out several hundred copies of the write-ups available across campus and at every voting station.
    4) It’s poor form to quote private correspondence without asking the person first. But whatev.

  2. Michael on March 27, 2007 6:39 am

    Also, there is nothing preventing candidates from publicly telling people where to vote. The rules stipulate that you can’t ask people to vote for *you*, but encourage you to tell them to come out and *vote*.

  3. Michael on March 27, 2007 7:11 am

    I’m on the side of being professional in these debates, but there is nothing professional that I could say to “concerned candidate” so I will just leave it at that.

  4. Gina Eom on March 27, 2007 7:19 am

    Stephanie thanks for your commentary. Is a Facebook conversation which can be seen by 500 of my friends really a private correspondence?

    I asked you since you were the outgoing AUS president, not because I randomly knew you.

    I hate the lack of Transparency in this entire election process – my point still stands that the AUS elections are way too buddy-buddy driven such that an attempt to appeal to voters who are not acquainted with the AUS clique is unable to vote in an informed fashion.

    And Patrick and Michael – I hope you don’t mind but I take personal offense to racism so I will delete the concerned candidate’s comment and repost it paraphrased.

    Concerned Candidate said on March 27, 2007 12:00 AM:
    “Oh cmon, there’s been way too many problems. I think hiring that self-righteous —- was a big mistakes- and all that poll administrators, too! They are such anal people anyway. They were so anal in organizing the candidates, and they turn out to be suer sloppy. I’d say we redo the whole voting. What’s the point of paying them?”

    I would be very disappointed at arts students if this person got elected.

  5. Marlon Richmond on March 27, 2007 10:06 am

    In the SUS elections, Webct was able to set up a “SUS Elections” course specifically for voting, with all science students having the ability to vote for Executives using the Webct quiz. This essentially is the equivalent of WebVote, which no longer is used by the undergraduate constituencies. The dean (or science administration) office helped out in the creation of the course.

    Is this something that Arts should look into for future spring elections instead of paper balloting? The voter turnout was very high, as students accessing online course materials were quickly made aware of SUS elections, and were just a click away from voting at home.

  6. Gina Eom on March 27, 2007 10:12 am

    Ya. I ran this WebCT voter doubling phenomenon by Steph Ryan before their elections started.

    PS. I’m still pissed at the racist candidate. They should contact me and be subjected to, well, my anger and scorn.

  7. Patrick on March 27, 2007 3:20 pm

    I imagine (or hope rather, after all, I may have to work with them) that it was not an actual candidate.

    Webvote would be a fantastic idea for future AUS elections.

  8. Stephanie Ryan on March 27, 2007 4:14 pm

    Again, empirical evidence has shown that the voter turnout in AUS elections plummets as soon as you switch to online voting (think 40 voters in the September By-elections of 2004). Perhaps WebVote/WebCT would not be as effective in the AUS elections as they were in the SUS elections because Arts students are far less likely to take quizzes on WebCT on a regular basis.

  9. Janine on March 27, 2007 4:37 pm

    Hi Gina,
    If we’d had more election volunteers we could have told you everywhere that the booths would be. Unfortunately, no one wanted to volunteer (now I see why) so we’re a little short. This means that elections booths are not all open all of the time. There are only three locations of the booths and I don’t think that they are really places that you can miss. If they were in the middle of nowhere and required a treasure map to get to I could see your comment about having to point your friends in their direction as a skewing of the vote. However, given their locations at the enterences of the SUB and in Buchanan A, I think most people will walk by them at least once in the course of the week. When they do so, if they care to vote, they can.

    Janine Edgerton-McGhan

  10. Gina Eom on March 27, 2007 4:43 pm

    WebCT has never been tried for AUS elections right? only webvote

    what i really thought was funny in that ignorant comment was that it was the wrong racial slur for the ethnic background they were targeting.

    it’s like, ignorant ignorance.

  11. Patrick on March 27, 2007 4:54 pm

    Oh… is Gina stealing a joke from Margaret Cho?

    I think my favourite such event was in a movie once when someone called a Jewish fellow a ‘Kite’ to try to offend him…

  12. ainge lotusland on March 27, 2007 5:43 pm

    While it was not possible to post our candidate write-ups on the AUS website, the Elections Committee has printed out several hundred copies of the write-ups available across campus and at every voting station.

    lol, sustainability.

    It’s poor form to quote private correspondence without asking the person first. But whatev.

    the blogosphere was built on poor form. long live ned lamont.

    thank you for posting this, gina.

    i agree with janine that the booths are in visible places, but as someone who has tried to pimp politics and causes outside the sub, it is undeniable that guerrilla reiki practicioners have conditioned ubc students to ignore all canvassers and unfamiliar voices outside the sub. i wish the volunteers good luck and i congratulate them on being able to open the polls for as long as they have been able to.

    i fucking cant believe that a candidate chose violent, racist words to express their feelings about a stupid student council election. in addition to this blatant discrimination, i cant belive that azumi is being criticized for allegedly being incompetent while her aus employers are let off the hook. azumi has consistently been the most professional person i have dealt with in this race.

    and im hella upset that nobody besides gina is taking on ‘concerned candidate’, especially given how many incumbents and candidates are on this fucking thread. how callous. that comment by concerned candidate wasnt unprofessional, michael, it was *racist.* if you cant appreciate the gargantuan difference between unprofessional and racist, then you should maybe start thinking about these things. i dont think there is anything unprofessional about calling a racist out on a thread, as gina has done.

    i hope blogger logs ip’s or something, not that it ever helps pin anyone down. it would be nice to have that person on record as a total racist so hopefully arts students wouldnt elect the douche.

  13. Tim Louman-Gardiner on March 27, 2007 5:50 pm

    I don’t think “concerned candidate” really needs to be “taken on.” Mostly because everybody knows s/he’s an idiot and we’ve let it die.

    But count me in the group that thinks the AUS has administered these elections well, at least from a voting perspective? Voting outside MASS/Buchanan? Moving into teh SUB? I can’t recall a time that any undergrad society did that.

    I’ve been asked to vote in the AUS elections more times than I was asked to vote in the AMS ones. That counts for something.

  14. Matthew Naylor on March 27, 2007 6:19 pm

    I was really confused for a while until you sent me the original post. I threw up a little in my mouth. Scorn is so deeply deserved here.

  15. ainge lotusland on March 27, 2007 6:31 pm

    I don’t think “concerned candidate” really needs to be “taken on.” Mostly because everybody knows s/he’s an idiot and we’ve let it die.

    you say the person is a mere idiot, i say this is another example of racial privilege being used to demean an individual and potentially discourage international students and people of colour from assuming high-profile positions.

    i dont think this is the time for diplomatic regret that someone would engage in a personal attack/a cheap shot/unprofessional behaviour. i encourage other candidates to post unambiguous declarations that this racism is not reflective of every aus candidate, but only the one privilege-abusing (insert unusually-long, even by my standards, string of profanity and epithets here).

    it may be just one stupid comment to you, but im kind of pissed off.

  16. Michael on March 27, 2007 6:34 pm

    Hello, ainge (or angela?), I would suggest next time reading my post properly before making a complete fool of yourself. I never called their comment “unprofessional”. I said *I* would not make an unprofessional comment in response to them. And by “unprofessional” I was referring to something along the lines of your eloquent ‘fuck’-riddled comment. So before practically acusing someone of being racist, which I can take issue with you face-to-face, I suggest not assuming anything and properly reading people’s comments.

    As far as your battle-call to “take-on” said anonymous candidate, that will accomplish absolutely nothing. This person is clearly a coward or an ignorant twat or just someone who has decided to rattle us for the fun of it. An internet flame-war will not solve anything. What we need to do, is use all resources available to be able to flush them out in real life, that is, assuming they even are a “candidate” in this election.

  17. ainge lotusland on March 27, 2007 6:42 pm

    i say fuck a lot – sorry it offends your delicate sensibilities.

    anyone who is reading a blog in the first place has to have some measure of affinity for the delicate art of the flamewar… but that isnt what im looking for.

    im hoping that some candidates would go on the record, visibly, and admonish this person. even though they posted anonymously, the person posted as a ‘candidate’ … so, i think it would be good if other candidates came around and explicitly stated that this is not tolerated.

    this person might win, so it might be nice for the easily-disgruntled, easily-disillusioned arts student out there to know that the person will not be working with anyone else who shares the view that when someone makes an administrative/logistical decision they disagree with, that a racial slur could explain perceived incompetence.

    i am not calling you a racist, im trying to get some candidates on the record, saying that this discrimination is not reflective of the body of candidates.

    no, the candidates posting on this thread will not end racism nor will it prevent racists from involving themselves in student politics.

  18. Michael on March 27, 2007 6:51 pm

    I don’t like racists. There, I said it, does that make the world a better place?

    Also, regarding your conduct with AUS members over the internet: http://ubc.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=2264268939&id=21008676&index=0

  19. Tim Louman-Gardiner on March 27, 2007 6:57 pm


    It doesn’t bother me if people are really upset by it, or rage against it. Hell, it’s a good thing. I’m just explaining why I’m not.

    That having been said, I’m curious as to what you meant by it being another example of racial privilege. This kinda presumes that the writer was white, or indeed, not Chinese. You assume it was directed at people of color, which implies a whiteness. And while that may be a safe presumption, until it’s grounded in fact, I’d refrain from making it.

  20. ainge lotusland on March 27, 2007 7:02 pm

    ok, so i see that your personal beef with me is influencing your replies. and i could say something even more petty, but im going to show restraint given the serious things i do say on this thread. i know – its confusing. one moment, im a mindless aus troll, the next im criticizing a flippant comment with a seriousness few people on this threat even want to touch.

    incoherence? probably. enthusiasm? hells yeah. this is how i roll. too bad for you.

    so im going to have to invoke oscar wilde, here. it is better to be talked about than not talked about. the aus should be so lucky that anyone even discusses them in the first place. i should be so lucky as a nobody candidate that anyone on council would even post a facebook missive about me (hence my enthusiasm at the end).

  21. Stash on March 27, 2007 7:13 pm

    I think we can all easily choose words to describe ‘concerned candidate’, and there’s no doubt in my mind that this person, if discovered, should be removed from the elections and publicly ridiculed.
    We all know that there have been bumps in this elections process. We can argue the visibility of the booths, and of the candidates, but it is important to remember, as Angela mentioned, that there were a billion elections write-ups printed, they were placed around Buchanan a week before the election, they can be found at each polling booth, and posters of the candidates can also be found at each polling booth.

    In terms of comments that claim that ‘this is not enough’, sure, agreed, maybe the elections should be visible in a way to reflect the sheer size of the faculty, but on the other hand we know that voter apathy runs rampant in the Arts faculty, and some people will be less likely to vote with more advertisement. Virtually EVERY board in buchanan is filled with information about elections, and if a student wants to find out where the stations are, it’s not hard to do.

    I for one am extremely sympathetic to Azumi’s position. She, along with the poll administrators, was hired for the position, and I feel that they are fullfilling to what they were mandated for. She has been working extremely hard to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Regarding the problems that did occurr, she made a concerted effort to rectify them ASAP, consult all the candidates who had issues, AND make sure that everyone was informed with exactly everything that was going on.
    To publicly bash her for a few small incidents is rediculous, and to do it in the way that was done on this blog is just downright disgusting.
    So, I’d take the opportunity to publicly congratulate her for the work that she is doing. I don’t think anyone deserves such criticism, and what reflects a deserving leader is what they are able to do once things go wrong. I think that she handled it very well.

    Also, kudos to the people at the polls who are actually making some noise and encouraging people to vote. There are a few that are just sitting there, and believe me, that will make the time pass muuuuch slower.

  22. ainge lotusland on March 27, 2007 7:14 pm

    That having been said, I’m curious as to what you meant by it being another example of racial privilege. This kinda presumes that the writer was white, or indeed, not Chinese. You assume it was directed at people of color, which implies a whiteness. And while that may be a safe presumption, until it’s grounded in fact, I’d refrain from making it.

    political definition of racism = prejudice + power

    i specify people of colour not to imply the poster was white, but to reference the obvious – white people may be discriminated against, but due to the power we hold, we will not be victims of racism according to that definition.

    i use the word privilege because i feel the concept ties into whatever it is in peoples heads that makes them think it is ok to use a racial slur in the first place. i did not specify white privilege but i appreciate your request for clarification as that term is in popular use.

  23. Michael on March 27, 2007 7:28 pm

    Importance is a *relative* term, angela.

    Also, I agree with Stash, this AUS election is miles ahead of previous years thanks to Azumi.

  24. Tyler on March 27, 2007 10:38 pm

    I suppose its time I weigh in on this issue. I agree that there have been some transparecy issues with this election but, to be fair, there are always transparency issues with elections. When I was elected last spring as Social Coordinator, I ran unopposed and had a mandate of 217 “Yes” and 13 “No.” How is that any better?

    I agree that there exists a risk of only the friends of AUS candidates voting informed but even they people we get at the booth who do no know candidates vote uniformed despite posters and write-ups. Having sat at election booths for hours, it’s not uncommon for people to ignore the information on posters and write-ups and to pick the “prettiest poster” or the “coolest name” on the ballot. This would explain some of the ridiculous candidate write-ups, they don’t weigh in all that much.

    So far as not paying the EA and her team goes, it’s ludicrous. Despite any problems that may have occured, they have put in dozens of hours of prep for these elections that the memers of the AUS couldn’t afford to spare. She held elections (and some of the most visibile in terms of posters, word of mouth and other ads I’ve seen in my years on council) and deserve what was promised.

    While holing new elections would probably satisfy concerned parties, it’s not feasable for several reasons. Firstly, lack of volunteers. Having spent dozens of hours at the elections booththis fall because no one elese wanted to, let me say finding volunteers to staff these elections is tough. Secondly, the entire AUS is in the midst of lanning a 15,000 person rock concert. With about 2 weeks til Arts County Fair, there’s no time to campaign or inform studetns, which is clearly the primary concern. We also can’t go intoexam period. We can’t put off the electios til fall either since the AUS needs an active Exec and Coordinators dung the summer months.

    That being said, I do recognize the concerns raised and the AUS is working with our EA to come to some sort of conclusion as to the best way to orrect these. As soon as a slution emerges, it will be announced so as to remain transparent and accountable.

    My final comment is with regards to this “Concerned Candidate.” I pray you don’t get elected and i you do, I’ll impeach you so fast it’ll mke your head spin. Discrimination of any kind has no place on this campus, let alone in the Arts Undergrad Society. It does not reflect the view of the Arts Undergrads of UBC and is a constant disapointment to those of us willing to admit we no longer live in the 16th Cenutury.

    When all is said and done, the figures I’ve heard from yesterday indicate over 100 voters. A “good turnout” in the past has been 200 over a week, with about 30 less hours than our EA and her team is attaining. Despite any rough roads we’re travelling, we are indeed miles ahead. Welcome to democracy folks! It’s problematic, it’s difficult, it’s messy and it prone to hitting snags but were doing the best we can to combat apathy and ignorance while making UBC the best it can be for our undergratduate Arts students.

  25. Anonymous on March 28, 2007 3:16 am

    Tyler! for god’s sake spell and grammar check! my eyes!

    and remember kids! it’s not racism until someone gets lynched by da police! until then its just ignorance and bigotry!

  26. Stephanie Ryan on March 28, 2007 4:08 am

    Agreed. Tyler, I love ya, but seriously, get a keyboard without half of the keys glued down :-).

  27. Mike Thicke on March 28, 2007 5:11 am

    I don’t believe there is a power component necessary for racism. There is a power component to racial oppression, which is closely related to, but distinct from, racism.

    I’m not happy with how the elections have been run, though that largely stems from problems that I have seen Nate Crompton suffering, first in not being informed that he was in a race with more candidates than positions (which resulted in his perhaps less than optimal poem), and in having his poster up later than other candidates (which I gather others suffered from as well).

    Generally communication seems to have been poor on several fronts. Candidates were not sufficiently informed of their situation, and voters were not sufficiently informed either.

    Nevertheless, the elections committee has been in a tough spot, these things rarely run perfectly, and I accept that mistakes can be made.

  28. Tyler on March 28, 2007 5:31 am

    Apologies for my sticky keyboard and hopefully it hasn’t been doing that with my papers. I hope one day I can be forgiven and we can move past my grammatical errors back to the point…love!

  29. Nathan on March 29, 2007 7:42 am

    hi Angela,
    you make excellent comments :-)

  30. Nathan on March 29, 2007 9:47 am

    There has been a general indifference towards the outward racism of “Concerned Candidate”. One post on this wall was casual about ‘letting the issue die’. The general view is that:

    – “we no longer live in the 16th Century” since ‘everybody knows racists are idiots’
    – liberal society is not explicitly racist
    – Racism is today “arbitrary” and on the fringes
    – Racism occurs only between individuals, not systematically and institutionally.

    But in fact, since
    a) the Western imperialisms of the present are linked by capitalism to most imperialisms since 1850, and
    b) capitalism is a system of wealth/property inheritance,
    c) and the capitalist nation-state system functions to keep wealth within established bounds for purposes of capital creation, and
    d) those bounds are the whitest, euro/north-american geopolitical bounds;
    capitalism in this historic moment is deeply racist.

    Global capitalism has racialized poverty in a way that simple bigotry could never have accomplished. Present racism is not a fact of arbitrary prejudice, it is an extension of our present colonial reality. We deny this reality every time we speak of “Global Citizenship” (for example) as though it were not the most offensive white person’s gala invitation. How do explain Global Citizenship, “multicultural” ideology. Liberal ideology seems to naturalize the global division of wealth with the result that racism now takes a complicated, underground form. For example, “international development”/NGO morality is not scurrilous, it is benevolent and missionary. Therefore, paradoxically, sympathy and pity for the world’s racialized poor becomes a violent racism exactly because of its “progressive” quality.

    Charity morality ignores the reality of the capitalist system, which divides the world into “developing” and developed nations. The former is a site for the extraction of wealth, the latter is for the reproduction of wealth. In the West, “strong” consumers are given a share of the wealth extracted from the “developing” world (cheap resources and labor) so that: a) wealth’s redistribution and circulation works to reproduce more wealth within said bounds, b) capitalism doesn’t fall into a crisis situation in which production comes to a standstill, a situation in which “extracted” wealth contributes to a level of production that is too high for the level of “effective demand” (”consumer purchasing power”).

    Wealth must be redistributed to produce more wealth and avoid crisis (consider 1929, the result of “extraction” in a period before adequate “redistribution”). Today, capitalists, western militaries and macro-economists have discovered the point of equilibrium where “stability” can occur if one section of the world remains appropriate for exploitation (cheap labor and resources), so that costs are kept low, and the other section of the word remains appropriate for redistribution, so that products can be sold and wealth can be circulated and multiplied. (In technical language, the point of this “equilibrium” is where the capitalist’s surplus extracted from wages can be “realized” at the moment of exchange/sale).

    This point of balance happens to be a racist resting place because capital remains within the white bounds of an earlier colonial world.

    If you agree with this marxist analysis, which I’m sure you all have no problem doing :-) you will agree that explicit acts of racism today bear directly on our colonial situation. You will agree that nothing about our nation or our institutions represents a structural break from the imperialisms of 19th century European and 20th century American imperialism (for example). Rather, the periods are conjoined by their simple relation to capitalist expansion. This explains racism as a present unconscious political reality and a mental recourse at a time when ideology devotes itself to reconciling liberal equality with a world of global exploitation and poverty, producing strange things like Global Citizenship and the secular missionary world of NGOs.

    On campus, we should be especially vigilant about explicit acts of racism because they are the “rare” manifestations of an otherwise unconscious politics.

  31. angela on April 2, 2007 6:31 am

    i think we call what nathan just posted “bringing it” … and i believe this means you have all been “served”

  32. Spencer on April 2, 2007 2:36 pm

    FYI – “global citizenship” explicitly refers to people that live in a civil and sustainable society (at least as far as Trek 2010 goes). Civil society theory is very much about redressing the concerns that Nathan brought up. For a decent book on the subject, check out UBC professor Michael Carr’s book Bioregionalism and Civil Society.

    I’m not going to respond to the rest, mostly because my head hurts when I argue with Marxists.

  33. Michael on April 9, 2007 9:40 am

    Hey, my ancestors only 150 years ago were slave working peasants, so I didn’t colonize squat. Yet, I am able to hate racism and bigotry with a passion, so the two, while related, do not bear as strong an influence on our current situation as you might think

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