Student Court Decision

Posted by: | March 27, 2008 | 95 Comments

The Student Court released its decision today in the VP Academic matter. They allowed the appeal, ordering that Alex Lougheed be disqualified. The Court left the matter of how to fill the vacancy up to the AMS Executive. More to come later, undoubtedly after Council. But, for those interested, the excerpt that outlines the reasoning of the judgment after the jump.

EDIT: Council refused to “accept” the Student Court’s judgment. That’ll teach me to go to sleep and leave the blog un-updated. Though that’s two straight Court decisions that have been politically overturned by Council. This may just be my lawyerly pre-disposition talking, but that begs the question: why have a student court at all? More to come.

PS – Please don’t turn this into another silly slappy fight in our comments section. I hereby attempt to distract you by linking to The Devil’s Advocate, which is back and awesome and only slightly libelous.

[5] The AMS Bylaws, Code and Constitution do not state explicitly that a voter must vote only once, but this principle can be inferred from the Code section IX A Article 5(7), which states, “The Elections Committee shall take whatever steps necessary to ensure that only eligible voters cast ballots and to ensure that each eligible voter votes only once.” Combine this with the generally-known fact that in a democracy, each voter is allowed only one vote, and with the procedure for online voting in the AMS election, which made it impossible, short of hacking the system, to vote more than once, and it is apparent that voters in the AMS election were each allowed only one vote. Mr. Lougheed voted four times in violation of the AMS Code.

[6] Mr. Lougheed’s testimony that he voted multiple times as a protest against the lack of secrecy in the balloting system is not only irrelevant, it is very shaky. It is irrelevant because it is the act of voting multiple times which is an offence, not voting multiple times for any particular purpose. It is shaky because he admittedly voted multiple times in last year’s election as well as this year’s, but for a different reason. It is very hard to believe that his multiple voting was undertaken as a protest this year when, as he described to us during the hearing, it was done as a joke last year. This is even harder to believe in light of the fact that the protest was not made public, as argued by Mr. Norouzi for Mr. Crompton. Mr. Lougheed’s extra votes did not affect the outcome of the election, but the very act of voting multiple times is repugnant to the fair running of a democratic election. By voting multiple times, he flouted the very system by which he hoped to gain legitimate office. This is a serious enough offence to warrant the candidate’s disqualification from the election.

[7] Section IX A Article 3(2) states that the Elections Administrator may, for serious offences, disqualify a candidate. He also has the power, under Section IX A Article 1(B)(2)(s) to rule an election valid based on whether any irregularities have materially affected the results. Since Mr. Lougheed’s multiple ballots did not affect the outcome of the election, it appears that the Elections Administrator was within his jurisdiction and discretion to make the decision he made.

[8] However, it is a principle of administrative law that a decision, though made legitimately in accordance with the decision-maker’s mandated power, can be appealed and overturned on the basis that the decision was either incorrect or unreasonable. In this case, the court must show deference Mr. Piovesan because: a) this is a matter of policy, b) because Mr. Piovesan was the Elections Administrator, he had special expertise, and c) although this is of central importance to the UBC system, it is not outside of Mr. Piovesan’s area of expertise, reasonableness is therefore the correct standard of review to use. Given that Mr. Lougheed committed a serious offence by voting more that once in violation of the AMS Code and also in violation of the basic principles of the democratic system by which he hoped to profit, the Elections Administrator’s decision to declare the election valid was unreasonable. He also had it within his power to disqualify Mr. Lougheed, and this would have been the reasonable decision. This Court therefore overturns the decision of the Elections Administrator and disqualifies Mr. Lougheed from the election for AMS VP Academic.


95 Comments so far

  1. Anonymous on March 29, 2008 5:12 pm

    Brendon, your points are good and valid.

    However, the one thing I disagree with is the conclusion as to “receive”. If the intention/spirit was to make Council only hear the resolution and not have any say over it, then that would have been explicitly made clear. This is the case with elections results, for example. There the results are valid and in force the moment the EA makes his/her presentation. There is no vote.

    This part of code for the court states outright “by a resolution of Council”. Surely that distinction with the elections is there for a reason.

    There are also a number of bylaws/code procedural issues that were not adhered to by the court. “To publish by notice in the Ubyssey the decision of the Court.” Anyone see that in the Ubyssey? I didn’t think so.

    Just one of many examples of this court proceeding failing to live up to any meaningful measure of due process, reasonableness, and basic justice.

    This fight is over. The Student Council used its bylaw-granted powers and overturned a bad and flawed student court decision by refusing to hear it. It’s that simple.

    Nate/Stef/Tistan/Ed/etc, I know its hard to let go when you think you’re right. But you’re not. The lack of narrowness on the 23 – 8 vote ought to have shown you that, but clearly none of you are interested in actually listening to what anyone who isn’t you says. Sad.

    I have only this to say to you: “Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.” The anger you feel? That’s the justice you don’t want to accept.

    Brendon, you are right to be upset about the decision. I am too. Its a sad day when the court issues a verdict so bad and so flawed and so irresponsible of consequences, effects, and precedent, that the Student Council has to refuse to hear it. But hey, I think we’ve all leaned something from this. Let us at least be content with that.

  2. Anonymous on March 29, 2008 5:41 pm

    – the distinction is there with the elections becuase: a) Council has no role to play in interfering with elections, b) there are non-election related cases that the Court can rule on and c) a Court hearing could technically get the AMS into legal trouble (that was not the case this time), whereas elections results cannot. The AMS does have fiduciary responsibility to consider the Court’s hearings, but not Eelctoral Appeals!

    – the Court’s decision was made 1.5 hours before council decided to overturn it. How exactly is the court supposed to publish their results by then? That point is moot. Nothing was done that gives reason to disqualify the Court’s process.

    – please don’t twist words, I am clearly upset by Council’s decision for unreasonably overturning a neutral decision on an electoral issue.

    Ahahaha, okay, I’m not even going to pretend I’m not going to post anymore…

  3. Anonymous on March 29, 2008 6:58 pm

    No one is twisting your words Brendon. All literate thinking/walking apes can understand why you’re upset. Its a valid reason.

    However, I was referring to the Ubyssey on Friday (yesterday), which was the one that followed the Court’s decision and naturally the one in which the decision ought be published.

    The decision was not published as a statement from court but as a news piece. There is a difference as one fulfils the Court’s duty, the other does not.

    This is just an illustration of the lack of thoroughness’s the court has shown throughout the trial.

    This entire process was a joke as it was Crompton vs the EA (or the AMS), yet it was Alex and his representatives that were acting as the defence and the EA was a witness.

    The process was supposed to be addressing whether the decision made by the EA was within his power, not over Alex’s actions. Instead, the court was used to persecute Alex in a guise of a case against the EA.

    The also erred in that a successful judgement against the EA would, logically, have the effect of punishing/reprimanding the EA. Not someone else. This is a basic principle of justice. If the EA erred (which I don’t think he did) in his call as to who to disqualify, that is not the fault of the person who did not get disqualified. That is the EA’s fault.

    There were two separate issues, and the court wrongly (not only judicially but also logically), treated them as the same thing.

    Also, to assume that the reason why Council has power over the court is for legal matters is to read a hell of a lot of meaning where none is specified. Its not even an interpretation, it’s an assumption (your assumption) as to the motives of the people who wrote the code/bylaws. Clearly, Naylor disagrees. Without clear evidence as to what the intention is/was, you can not possible make that argument stand.

    At this time I would also like to point out a certain ramification of this entire mockery that hasn’t been pointed out yet (here anyway). The court used SECRET BALLOTS as evidence against Alex. They made copies of these SECRET ballots and had access to them. Not only is this profoundly and insanely unjust and wrong, but it is also in direct violation of the written words of the AMS Code of Procedures.

    This means that the Court (and the EA) violated Alex’s right to a secret ballot. It follows from this that they had the power to do so with any given ballot. Thus, the ballot was not secret.

    This is a serious breach. This is exactly why Alex did what he did. To show this absurd irregularity in the process. No, he did not stand atop the Knoll and bang some bongo drums and announce that he was doing this, but this is not the definition of public. He did make it known to people around him that he was doing this and never made a secret of it. If this had been a court case against Alex Lougheed, the Student Court prosecutor would have had to investiage this allegation. As it stands, they did not. Hands down Alex could pull a dozen individuals who would happily (and honestly) testify that Alex told them what he was doing and why.

    In any case: the lack of a secret ballot invalidates the entire result from the ballots case on paper. This, in turn, invalidates the entire election (except, I guess, VP Admin).

    Unless there is someone out there who thinks that a by-election for the position of President, VP External, VP Finance, and VP Academic is in order, please kindly shut up.

    The fact is that this election was not run according to the letter of code. If there is to be a solution to that (that is fair, just, and equitable), it won’t be the recall of Alex Lougheed. It will be the invalidation of the entire election.

    By not hearing the student court decision that would have opened that possibility, Student Council saved the AMS from the biggest disaster in its history (that I can think of).

    The person on council who said it was right: We ought thank Alex for having the courage to stand up and bring this transgression to light. Certain people (you know who you are) also ought apologize to him for what they’ve put him through over the last two months and the damage they have done to his name and reputation (which, fyi, were committed using AMS resources and funding (the Knoll) and open the AMS to legal liability in case Alex ever decides to sue for slander and libel).

    The conclusion is this:
    This election (and the ensuing brouhaha) have been a stain on the history, reputation, image, and honour of the AMS. Mistakes were made, things were done wrongly, but that is done. It is over. Nothing at all positive could come out of any more appeals, complaints, recalls, or the like.

    Anyone with a tiny bit of sense and who has the student/AMS interest (and yest, they are the same) will be able to realize this and understand that what they are doing from this point forth can only harm the society and student interest.

    Perhaps harming the students and the AMS is a legitimate goal for some, but in my opinion, it is counter productive and simply misbegotten. This is very much a case where the ends do not justify the means.

    Hopefully certain people will take heed and listen. Though by this point, I’m afraid that this is too much to ask or expect.

    -Anon 10:12am

  4. tyler allison on March 29, 2008 7:19 pm

    I really tried to make myself stay away from this entire episode. So this is going to be my one and only post on the matter.

    I, like many of you, am a student leader and I was in student politics. Was, past tense. Now I’m not trying to say this ordeal made up my mind to get out, but it sure as hell was a contributing factor. Have you stopped to back up and think about all this recently? Because I get the feeling this is just one big domino tracing all the way back to the elections and that no one has taken a look at the big picture recently. So let’s do that.

    Why are you in student politics? Are you padding your resume? Do you enjoy the camaraderie within that particular niche on campus? Do you like the free food at AMS meetings? Or did you legitimately want to help your fellow students and make this campus a better place? Because, to be brutally honest, I don’t see a whole lot of the latter going on at the moment. And don’t put that as a knock on anyone in particular, all you folks who know me know I love all you guys and respect putting yourselves out there whether I think you’ve got the right idea or not. But this has gotten to the point where the average student is so, so far outside the mind of the AMS right now.

    It is an incredibly dangerous precedent to set for an elected body to overrule a ‘judicial body,’ yes I will admit that to Brendon and others. That having been said, it’s not the first time Council overruled Student Court. I can remember since in my time here at UBC (I think it was last year but to be honest, I can’t remember offhand and have too much on my to do list to look it up) Council ignoring a Court ruling on who constituted a student or member of the Society. Again, my memory isn’t perfect because I was less of a hack/insider back then so someone who remembers better feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. But I do remember Student Court giving Council a decision it didn’t like or that it felt was wrong. And Council ignored it. How is deciding who gets to vote in your elections any less scandalous than deciding on the election itself? Brendon, I know you said you wouldn’t reply anymore (which is basically what I’m going to conclude with myself) but if you felt that Student Court was so broken, you should have fixed it while it was under your portfolio. Finally, it’s not an established and legitimate judicial body. If it is, where was Alex’s right to appeal? Last I checked, that was a fundamental right for someone who was on trial. For that matter, where was his right to remain silent without being judged as guilty. But that’s not the point I want to make.

    This is not Lougheedgate. This is not the biggest scandal to ever rock the AMS. This story has been circulating since late January and you know what the average student thinks? They don’t care. And it’s not because they don’t know. I’ll admit that some don’t, maybe because politics isn’t their concern, or they’ve got too much other stuff to worry about or because they’ve already given up on the AMS in general. But this is something that, really, only hacks and insiders give a crap about. It happened, it happens every year, it’s over now. End of story.

    Finally, please stop pretending being elected by less than 10% of your faculty or of the student body makes you any more important or any better to judge what’s best for anybody but yourself. You were elected, yes, congratulations. But we’re still all just students here and this is not Victoria nor is it Ottawa. You weren’t elected to bicker about nonsensical details in a 7 hour meeting once every second Wednesday. Don’t take yourselves so seriously. You’ll not only live a lot longer but you might also start enjoying what you’re doing again. And then, you might even remember that you were elected to help students. Let’s try that then, shall we?


  5. Anonymous on March 29, 2008 9:18 pm

    It might also be worth remembering that the “elected” Council did not result entirely from the recent AMS election – only the exec positions did. My understanding is that, of the 23 people that voted against the Court decision, none of them were winners in that election (maybe a few of them ran?).

    They are councillors from all over campus who represent various groups. In some sense, they run the show; they can easily outvote the entire exec (not all of them voted in this case). That is their responsibility. They don’t answer to the exec and they don’t answer to the Student Court (which is not some sacred equivalent of the judicial branch of our governments).

    Please, let it go, let Council get on with its work.

  6. Commodore Cuddles on March 29, 2008 9:27 pm

    And sanity returns! Come Monday I’ll be offering hugs & chocolate to anyone who needs ’em. You know how to find me.



  7. Anonymous on March 29, 2008 9:50 pm

    Anon 11:58:

    Wha? I’m confused… Wasn’t the first Court hearing dismissed BECAUSE Alex wasn’t given a chance to defend himself? The initial Court hearing was between Nate and the EA, and then the Court decided that in order to make a fair judgment, they needed Alex to be there, so they rescheduled and invited him (and didn’t give him enough notice, so rescheduled again).

    Can anyone clarify?

  8. Anonymous on March 29, 2008 10:15 pm

    None of the cases was ever “formally” against Alex. They were all labelled as Nate vs the EA.

    After the first hearing, it was established (though I don’t know why) that if Alex was going to be punished, he should be there to defend “his” side. Thus, the case became vs. Alex in fact, but remained vs. the EA in name.

    The second case was re-scheduled because Alex was not given enough notice of the scheduled hearing, which is contrary to the bylaws/constitution.

    The third case was still called Nate vs. the EA, but had Alex playing the defendant with the EA providing testimony.

    The court continually insisted that this was not a trial about Alex. This was not a disciplinary hearing (which is what a trial against Alex would be). This was a case against the wrong decision of the EA. As it so happens the court ruled that punishment be meted on Alex, not the EA while insisting that Alex was not charged with anything.

    You see, a “disciplinary” hearing for an individual violating the rules of the AMS is a whole different matter entirely. It requires a prosecutor of the court and allows only for certain types of punishment (such as expulsion form the AMS or a fine).

    In my opinion, the court didn’t want to do this as it was harder and more time consuming for them, but also it allowed much less say/interpretation of the rules on their part, and gave them much less power to dish out punishment.

    In any case, it’s been an ass-backwards farce from the get-go. The only step that made any sense at all was Council’s decision to not hear the court’s decision.

    -Anon 10:12, 11:58

  9. Jesse Ferreras on March 29, 2008 10:50 pm

    As to publishing the court decision in the Ubyssey…

    That must have been a clause that was drawn up before 1994, before the Ubyssey was shut down and revived as an independent publication. The Ubyssey has no obligation to obey anything that the AMS, in Code or otherwise, asks it to do.

    Technically AMS Code could state that the Ubyssey publish an entire page documenting the goings-on of AMS politics. It still doesn’t have to do it.

    People can criticize the paper all they want for not doing the AMS’ bidding, but frankly it just doesn’t have to. And I guess writing a news story about a student court decision isn’t sufficient.

  10. Mike Thicke on March 29, 2008 11:40 pm

    Does this open the AMS to outside legal action?

  11. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 12:08 am

    Strongly doubt it, where would the legal action stand?

    I think Brendon got a little carried away with that comment, as I cant think of any way that this leaves the AMS open to litigation.

    However, if someone would care to elaborate on how it would be possible, that would be much appreciated.

  12. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 1:03 am

    Does what open the AMS to legal action? The Student Council’s decision? Or some other thing discussed in the many posts above. You need to be more specific.

    The current decision can not possibly open the AMS to legal action.

    However, the court decision itself could. Alex, as already mentioned, can charge the AMS with libel (as the Knoll accused him of doing things that the Knoll would then need to prove in a real court as being true). Further, he could charge the AMS with the lost wages of being dismissed unjustly (he’d have to show that this was the case) as well as damage resulting from having dropped classes, mental duress, etc (this would be easy to show).

    Any court case stems from either some illegal action (violation of the criminal code) or damage being done. The actual Council decision does not result in any damage to anyone, while the student court’s decision would have.

    That said, I’m no lawyer. Maybe the AMS should ask its lawyers. Or maybe ask Student Court? Oh. Wait. Maybe not. :)

  13. Mike Thicke on March 30, 2008 1:09 am

    I mean, does the AMS acting in contravention of its bylaws open it up to legal action?

  14. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 1:46 am

    I don’t think so. Though I am not familiar with the governance laws that pertain to societies and non-profit organizations in B.C.

    This assumes that the AMS did act against its bylaws, which is by no means certain. That it did would have to be proved in a real court. In front of a real judge. By real lawyers.

    Yey for (needless) litigation!

  15. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 2:00 am

    Since people are talking about accountability, and the “democratic” nature of the AMS.I would like to point out some significantly undemocratic facts about the AMS:

    1.)There are no bylaws or points in the AMS constitution that layout any rules about elections or term of office for elected representatives.

    There is nothing guaranteeing:

    2.) 1 person, 1 vote
    3.) secret ballot
    4.) term of office for elected officials
    5.) open and fair elections

    There is no entrenched provision within the AMS structure, that protects the most fundamental part of any democratic institution.

    Note: These conditions exist in code (which is different which can be easily changed by a 2/3 majority in council.

    ps. I welcome comments from anyone who can find the above provisions.

  16. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 2:53 am

    Any idea on when the AMS website will be updated with the minutes from last week’s council meeting? I’d like to read them for myself to determine what exactly “went down”. Also, will the Student Court be publishing its decision somewhere?

  17. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 4:27 am

    The minutes have to be approved at the next council meeting before they are posted online. The next council meeting is in two weeks, and knowing the speed of the AMS website updating add another 2 weeks or more…

    You would probably be better off going into the AMS offices and asking Sheldon about getting both the minutes and the court decision.

  18. Gerald on March 30, 2008 5:20 am

    Turns out Brendon’s done here… but has started a Facebook group: link

  19. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 5:35 am

    I wouldn’t say this is the worst scandal in AMS history but right now (from outside the AMS) the majority of council members appear corrupt and deceitful

    Tell yourself and your cronies whatever you want, this is the message that your sending the student body.

  20. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 6:34 am


    Someone needs to step out of their paranoid delusion and get some perspective on the matter. There’s plenty of that above. AMS Council isn’t out to get you.

    As to Brendon. Well, he’s free to his opinions and actions and is welcome to them. I just find the membership of that group very disheartening: prominent members of the AMS including Jacqueline Bell, Tristan Markle, and no doubt others soon to follow (coughStefcough). Way to represent the organization that you are employed/working for team! It shows real gall to be getting a pay cheque every two weeks that says AMS on it and to then work extra hard to undermine the AMS’s clearly expressed majority will (fyi: the executive works for Council, not the other way around). For current Execs, especially, to be participating in this is unacceptable. They are violating their fiduciary duty as agents of the organization.

    Personally, I’d say its an offence that is impeachment-worthy. Once one becomes an executive they assume a duty of care over the organization and over its decisions. They may not agree, but it is their job to carry out that will. If Council decides to reject student court, then the execs have a duty to respect that.

    If Council has any sense, it should look into this behaviour on the part of these Executives and really ask themselves whether these individuals are working toward the benefit of the AMS or if they have some sort of different agenda that they are actively pursuing. Its one thing to have a belief and to express it at the appropriate time. It is another thing entirely to systematically and actively undermine the organization, its rapport with students, and its image.

    Simply Tragic.

  21. brendon goodmurphy on March 30, 2008 8:23 am

    A paying member of a society who questions the actions of the Board of Directors could definitely take their society to court…

    I think, if you could prove it, there are two grounds to take the AMS to court in the matter of Council overturning the Court’s decision:
    1. not following their own code and bylaws
    2. interfering with the electoral process unjustly.

    You’d have to be able to prove that:
    1. The Court’s decision was worthy of accepting (not corrupt, followed due process, a reasonable decision)
    2. If Council’s decision to overturn the Court’s ruling was based on Council’s interpretation of code, but the Court’s interpretation was reasonable, then Council didn’t follow their own code (code says the Court is the final interpreter).
    3. You could make the argument that the spirit of “recieving” a court ruling is not to deliberate on the content of the hearing if it is reasonable. Thus, Council went against its code.
    4. I don’t think it would be hard to make the case at all, that given #1 is proved (the legitimacy of the Court’s decision), then the Board of Directors interfered with fair electoral procedures, which is against the principle of an arms-length elections process.

    So, obviously they all hinge on #1 being true.

    And you don’t need to respond to this post, we all know what the opposing side is going to say, you can’t prove #1. I believe you could, which is why I believe Council’s decision was wrong. But it really would be the best way to find out the answer to that…

    PS> I actually think its fair to suggest that once Council’s decision has been made, dissenting members of Council should respect it… in most cases. But I also think that logic can be used to pressure dissenting views into shutting up. And that’s the way you could interpret Anon 11:34. Technically, any dissenting member of Council has every right to still speak out about passed motions (i did re: the musqueam motion)… sometimes it doesn’t look good, but sometimes an issue matters too much to you to just sit back and let it go…

  22. Maria_Jogova on March 30, 2008 8:31 am

    I’d just like to thank Tyler for his post- I have to say, I have been greatly disheartened by reading the comments. I came to UBC and got involved in student politics because I thought that maybe, just maybe, students actually cared about the average UBC student, and wanted to make things better for them. I feel like even reading about the AMS and AMS politics has simply reversed those feelings.

    Come on, guys- we’re in university, we should all be a bit more mature about this. What’s done is done, the decision has been made, the cards are down. I understand that people are upset, as they are wont to be in controversial cases such as these. However, there is little you can do- prolonging this matter is counteractive to what the AMS presumably wants to do- improve campus life, address student needs, etc. I would like to see some of my faith in student politics restored. These types of debates don’t do anything for students- and it’s exactly this sort of thing that makes students care less about the AMS and about student politics, and deters some awesome people from joining the AMS. I would focus attention on this instead of rehashing the same thing over and over. Thanks!


  23. brendon goodmurphy on March 30, 2008 8:49 am

    Anon 7:00 – The bylaws state that all constituency reps (Bylaw 5 (2)(a)(4)) are elected and the exec are elected (bylaw 5 (3)(b)).

    Was that your question?

    PS> It is 2:00am, but before you call me a crazy nut job, I am technically working on a paper…

  24. Fire Hydrant on March 30, 2008 9:41 am

    Anon 7pm (and Brendon):

    The term of office is indirectly covered in Bylaw 5(3)(b)(ii), which says the executive turn over at the annual general meeting, which is required (Bylaw 3(1)(a)(i)) to be held in February.

    Otherwise, you’re correct that there’s next to nothing electiony in the Bylaws, and many things you’d expect to see there aren’t (e.g. secret ballot, one member one vote). Similarly, the bylaws do not require a fee referendum to tell you that it’s a fee referendum. There are some aspects of the bylaws that could stand to change…

  25. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 4:12 pm

    Brendon, it is the Executive, not Council who have a duty to carry out the will of Council. Any Councillor can dissent and protest as much as they want following a decision. It may look bad, but that may be a good thing.

    On the other hand, Execs are bound to the will of Council. For them to dissent and undermine the will of Council is for them to not do their job.

    Again. A distinction between Councillors and Executives.

  26. Rodrigo Ferrari Nunes on March 30, 2008 5:02 pm

    Forget about the minutes. Most likely they lack detail and are useless. I wonder if that breaches any piece of code (low quality minutes).

    As the only GSS rep who accepted the decision, people would like to lump me into one of the polarized sides of the ‘fight’.

    People have become so blinded by partisanship and friendship that any decision on this matter would be an emotional one, and that is why the student court was the proper place for making a decision.

    Peets admitting to cheat in different times and different ways and drawing cheers from AMS councilors, including Naylor and his followers (or ‘students’), was one of the most shameful moments I have ever experienced as an AMS councilor since May 2007. In a moment of counciousness, Peets demanded an apology from Lougheed “at the least”, and that did never come. The most honorable way to act was not to appoint a friend as judge of your own case nor to have your personal lawyer friend come to take time from council to try to argue against a 3 to 1 decision.

    The most respectable and honorable way to act would have been for Lougheed to resign immediately and subsequently run in the elections and win it for real. He would have actually even earned people’s respect!

    I believe that Peets, after passing on his BoG position to Tim or Bijan, should be relieved from his position even as proxy for Jason next AMS council, and I will bring it up at the next GSS council and executive meetings. No matter how encyclopedic he is or in how many committees he has sat on, or how many flights he has in the Board of Governors JET, or how many prizes he received, being proud of cheating your fellow students and the democratic process is nothing short of shameful and should not be either tolerated, approved, cheered, or praised by any serious society. I believe most Graduate Students will be absolutely appalled at this. I would also like to hear Tariq’s (Senator) opinion on this outcome, since he seems mostly unbiased in this case (and in general).

    The AMS exec should at least:
    -post the minutes from the last meeting ASAP and send them to all councilors
    -post on the wall of the SUB the proper and most recent minutes just outside of the AMS exec office (not the one from september 2007!!!! see for yourself in the SUB)
    -get ready to hold a referendum on the VP Academic race (believe me, 1000+ signatures will be at your desk soon).
    -be very very proud that all this thrash went down in YOUR term, and that YOU let it happen!


    VP Student Services (GSS)
    AMS Councilor (GSS/Anthropology)

  27. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 5:36 pm

    Rodrigo: please note that you can not call for a by-election, no matter how many signiatures you get. This is because the spot of VP Academic is already filled by Alex Lougheed. First you need to impeach/recall him. Your 1000 signatures would force a referendum. This referendum would need a quorum of 10% of people voting for impeachment. Also, it would have to take place within 31 days of it being called.

    This, unless you get the signatures in by tomorrow, there can be no referendum this school year. It can also not be held in the summer (presumably). So, you’d be looking at a referendum in September. Followed by a by-election in October at the earliest.

    If you can’t see how that is stupid and malicious and only hurts the AMS and students and serves no real purpose, then you’re truly blind and I’ll have lost all respect for you.

    Why didn’t Lougheed resign? Because he did nothing wrong.

    Brendon, you’re right: Number 1 is far from being easy to prove and I disagree with your interpretation of code. Fortunately, unlike the student court, a real court wouldn’t make up language and see meaning where none exists. The constitution clearly says that AMS Council will VOTE to receive (or not) a Court ruling. As there is no provision in code/bylaws that says that Council exists only to rubber stamp-votes, I think you are out of luck.

    Further, there is a difference between going to court and reporting the AMS to the better business bureau. A court case is a lot more serious and usually requires fairly substantial damage be involved. No court is going to commit the resources for such a frivolous and politically-motivated case

    I mean, come the fuck on. The guy who filed the complaint came in 2nd in the race by less than 1%. Any argument for political neutrality on his part can not exist. Even if he says he’ll not run again in a by-election or that he’s doing it for the greater good. That’s BS and everyone knows it.

  28. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 6:56 pm

    If people want to sign some sort of petition, I think the petition should demand that a AMS committee be set up with the following mandate:

    To make recommendations for a referendum to change the AMS Constitution and Bylaws to include/change:

    1.)A section covering elections

    2.)Get rid of student court and replace it with a new body that is more effective as a check to councils power.

    I didn’t want to get to specific because the committees purpose should be to consult on what changes to make.

    The committee should consist of students-at-large from each faculty and some council members.
    -There should also be some expert advisers that are non-voting.
    -There should be some sort of compensation for sitting on the committee.

    If anyone wants to see the above happen,leave a post on this wall, and we can look at writing some proper wording.

  29. Fire Hydrant on March 30, 2008 7:39 pm

    I did not admit to cheating, I admitted to elections irregularities. What I did was done in such a way as to ensure that there would be zero effect on any vote totals, zero effect on campaigning, no voters would be in any way influenced, and there would just generally be no gain or effect for anyone in any way as a result of what I did. I did not violate the AMS Constitution, Bylaws or Code, nor the EA’s elections procedures. What I did was and will remain between me and the Elections Committee.

    For clarity, when I ran for Board as a serious candidate, I was involved in no irregularities of any sort.

    If you consider what I described above to be cheating, then by analogy a student would be cheating if they drew a giraffe on their final exam alongside an answer. More importantly, a voter would be cheating if they spoiled their ballot or wrote in “Donald Duck” and voted for him.

    Because of the current climate, I have no interest in going into any more detail on what I actually did, nor do I intend to expand on what I’ve said above in any other way. No good would come of that.


    (And, in response to a more recent post, there already exists a committee to look at the Bylaws, it’s Code and Policy. It has more Councillors than at-large members, but an advisory group to them could perhaps be set up for this issue. I’d personally leave this a couple months, though, to let people cool down a bit.)

  30. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 8:33 pm

    I am so embarrassed that once again AMS proceedings are being devolved to inflamatory facebook groups. So embarrassed for everyone involved.

  31. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 8:34 pm

    dear rodrigo – I am constantly amazed that you find time to eat and sleep given the amount of time you dedicate to running your mouth. Sit down.

  32. Matthew Hall on March 30, 2008 9:16 pm

    So. In order to prove that Alex’s actions make him unfit for office, it is now also necessary to claim that Darren’s similar and utterly inconsequential actions while standing for election on behalf of a fire hydrant make him unfit for office. I would suggest that if you really have to use this angle of attack, you’re probably onto a loser.

  33. Anonymous on March 30, 2008 10:21 pm


    The GSS has much more pressing concerns (i.e. fallout from the recent AGM) at this time. I urge you to leave AMS elections scandals off our agenda, as I predict maringal interest at best from graduate students and even less support for condemning Darren Peets of all people.

  34. Gina Eom on March 31, 2008 12:02 am

    I hope the first thing Mr Lougheed will do as VP Academic, if he remains in this position, is to critically examine the role and scope of the Student Court.

  35. Scott Bernstein on March 31, 2008 12:39 am

    Rodrigo said: “The most honorable way to act was not to appoint a friend as judge of your own case nor to have your personal lawyer friend come to take time from council to try to argue against a 3 to 1 decision.”

    Alex Lougheed did not “have” me come to Council to support him. I did so of my own volition and because I believe that he didn’t do anything wrong. That is also why I chose to represent him at the Student Court.

    Last I checked, I’m still a student at UBC and still a member of the AMS. That gives me as much right as anyone to voice my views at Council. So, now the opinion of a student expressing his concerns/beliefs amounts to “taking time away from Council”? What ever happened to the principle that Council is open to students?

    Give me a break! You people are ridiculous in that you denounce things you see as being undemocratic and then go right ahead and suggest even more draconian policies for the rest of us. That convinces me that you see the world from only your perspective. Not really an honourable stance to take either, is it Rodrigo?

  36. Anonymous on March 31, 2008 12:55 am

    Just throwing this out there, but whoever makes the 100th post on this silly thread will be pied.

    Just saying.


    -the kinder, gentler (but sill mad-as-hell-and-not-going-to-take-it-any-more Wreath Underground.

  37. Anonymous on March 31, 2008 12:57 am

    Good luck in working out which “anonymous” to pie.

  38. Eoin on March 31, 2008 1:12 am

    post on this thread without getting pied. Also, Naylor you’re on the DA’s pie list. I don’t know what’s up with these WU copycats.

  39. Anonymous on March 31, 2008 1:12 am

    fuck. maayan, can you cut off the comments please? to everyone else- go get girlfriends.

  40. Anonymous on March 31, 2008 1:18 am

    Id like to second anonymous.

    Me, Im in paper writing hell and this shit is a distraction I dont need.

  41. Omid Javadi on March 31, 2008 2:34 am

    I began wading through this mire of comments, and gave up, because many are quite frankly idiotic, and the others are simply misinformed and inane.

    I support Alex Lougheed and I support, and am proud to support, Council’s decision. If I still sat on Council, I would have voted to reject the ruling of Student Court and argued vehemently for it.

    What is the purpose of Council? It is, simply put, to serve students. Council is certainly not perfect, and I will be the first to say that the time it spends during meetings more often than not does not serve students. However, Council fulfilled its obligation to the student body and served them.

    Ignoring the sheer stupidity of the Student Court ruling, if Council had allowed Alex to be disqualified, then the AMS would likely be forced to run another by-election, with even poorer turnout than the previous two elections. This would be catastrophic for the society. Additionally, there is the human cost to this. Do you not understand the toll this has taken on Alex? If he was to be retroactively disqualified, then he’s in a situation in which he has no summer job, and has extended his degree by a year for naught.

    Another incredibly key point that everyone is overlooking is that Council did not overturn a ruling by student court, Council rejected a decision that was meritless and would harm the student body, a decision that was founded in ignorance, illogicality, and senselessness. Council did not decide that Alex Lougheed should remain VP Academic, Council decided that accepting Student Court’s decision was not in the best interests of the Society, which is exactly their job. Those who are angry about the decision fail to realize this. You are not analyzing and understanding the problems with the ruling, as Council did, you are angry that Council made a decision that you disagree with.

    I wish all this name calling would end. I wish Nate would just accept the ruling. This is awful for the society. You (hopefully) run for a position because you feel you can best serve students, but then you go do something ludicrous like this. You lost Nate, accept it.

    To those who are outraged about this decision, open your eyes and understand what Council was actually doing. You’re all blinded by your own conviction and can’t see past the end of your own nose.

  42. Anonymous on March 31, 2008 2:41 am

    Dammit. I missed my chance to get pied.

    Nonetheless, I submit that the pie used should be organic, locally-grown, locally made, produced in Sprouts and given out by AMS Foodbank staff.

  43. Matthew Naylor on March 31, 2008 2:57 am

    I know Eoin. That’s why I fled the province. When will I return? I’m not telling you. I don’t want to be Pie-sassinated.

    I won’t be commenting on here regarding this topic anymore. If this shitstorm can make someone like me question why he’s involved in student politics, I shudder to think what other people think. We should all be ashamed of ourselves, and move on.

  44. Anonymous on March 31, 2008 5:36 am

    dearest gina:

    have alex crictically evaluate student court!?!?!?!?

    critically evaluate the same independent body that called for his resignation… i think that would make this whole debacle even worse.

  45. Dave Tompkins on April 3, 2008 1:42 am

    OK… So I just got an invite from Matt to the Facebook group “Please Ban Anonymous Commenting on UBC Insiders” and so I decided to come on over to see what the fuss is about.


    I’m glad I don’t have to moderate these discussions :)

    Have fun, everybody and play nice.

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