The controversial RU-Pass referendum results will stand.
Ryerson’s Election Procedures Committee (EPC) ruled 4-1 against formal challenges brought forward by students unhappy with the RSU’s campaign.
The decision, released this morning, was based off of the chief returning officer’s report.
In that report, Catherine Redmond cited the large voter turnout as the main reason for supporting the referendum.
Redmond acknowledged misconduct on the part of the RSU.
In her report, Redmond wrote: “While I feel that sharp practice and misleading information was used by the RSU I also felt that the electorate had access to accurate information provided by the Board Secretariat, and voted accordingly.”
According to the final decision, the one dissenting EPC member felt that there was an unfair advantage for the Yes campaign and “erroneous information was known but inadequately corrected too late to offset the misleading information.”
Redmond also said that she had received 195 emails from confused students and students unhappy with the results of the vote or the conduct of the RSU. She received 24 formal challenges, two of which had hundreds of signatures attached.
The EPC also found that the RSU’s statements about the opt-out process were vague, but decided that enough accurate information was publicly available. It found that “irregularities that occurred in the referendum did not materially affect the fairness of the referendum, or alter the result.”
Earlier this month, a Ryersonian investigation found that RSU campaigners were consistently giving out inaccurate information at their campaign tables. The EPC cited Ryersonian and The Eyeopener articles that came prior to, or during, the referendum, but made no mention of the undercover investigation.
The inaccuracies included confusion around the opt-out process, an incoming deal with Metrolinx and false statements about McMaster University having a GO pass.
When the EPC met on Nov. 13, students dissatisfied with being excluded from the meeting staged a protest.
In the referendum held Oct. 29 to Nov. 1, 16,331 students voted. Sixty-two per cent voted in favour of the RU-Pass. It will cost students $282 per semester and provide unlimited travel on the TTC. It is to come into effect in September 2019.
There will be more on this story as it unfolds.
With files from Stefanie Phillips.