Editorial: RRRA re-election is the best choice

At the Rideau River Residence Association (RRRA) meeting on April 1, Carleton Ombudsperson Jim Kennelly delivered his report on the Fresh RRRA slate being disqualified from the February election. Fresh RRRA accumulated three electoral violations and was disqualified the day before voting began. Despite this, they remained on the ballot and came in first place with the most votes. Fresh RRRA appealed the decision after Next Step came in second, and was named the winner because of the disqualification.

Kennelly told council that a new election should be held in late April to decide the winner, rather than him ruling one way or the other about Fresh RRRA. While nobody wants a long, drawn-out process that stresses students unnecessarily, the decision to hold a new election is ultimately the fairest. Kennelly brought up the valid concern that some students would not have known Fresh RRRA was disqualified while voting for them and students will be able to make an informed decision this time, knowing what happened in February.

A second election will also force candidates to think twice before doing something unethical that could get their slate disqualified. It eliminates the possibility of one slate complaining the process was unfair or an outside body is making students’ decisions for them. The new campaign also won’t feature posters or formal campaigning, so the strength of a slate’s ideas will be the true deciding factor. Yes, ordering a new election is a blunt tool that adds uncertainty to the residence association for the next few weeks, but will prevent more problems than it causes.