RESPECT VOTES OF ARTS STUDENTS: Overturn ban on 4 activists in UWA Arts Union elections

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RESPECT VOTES OF ARTS STUDENTS: Overturn ban on 4 activists in UWA Arts Union elections

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Four popular education activists have been struck from the ballot of the UWA Arts Union elections, despite all winning their positions in a landslide. The candidates who won the positions of President, Education Vice President (VP), Social VP and Externals VP have all been disqualified. Presidential candidate Emma Norton won two thirds of the vote, over triple the votes of the president-elect! The candidates were informed of the ban via identical emails which they received midway through the elections. None of the emails contain evidence of wrongdoing by the candidates. Meanwhile, serious allegations of returning officer misconduct and bias abound. The sitting AU executive appointed their friends as ROs, including a member of the Young Liberal Party on campus who ran in the Guild elections against many of the Arts Union candidates.

Nick Brown is a Guild Councilor and student from the Defend Arts Union Democracy campaign, which collected well over 250 signatures on petitions to the Arts Union. 'Many students feel that the election was rigged from the start. All candidates were banned from campaigning or even talking to students about the elections. Members of the current Arts Union were accused of stalking and harassing candidates they don't like. But to say that all those votes for Emma and the others don't count, it's just incredible' he said.

Candidates have been accused of handing out campaign material – which has been ruled to include leaflets criticising the elections for being undemocratic, which no arts union candidate has been handing out in the election period. The second accusation is of campaigning near an arts faculty building which the evidence given is a video of a candidate informing a student that Arts Union elections are on, acquired by a man accused of stalking her.

We, the undersigned demand that the ban on four activists in the UWA Arts Union Elections be overturned and that future Arts Union elections are run in a democratic and constitutional way.



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