Screenshot from Change.org
Screenshot from Change.org

UBCO students have begun a petition with the goal of reinstating recently disqualified VP Services candidate Easton Doran.

The petition, hosted on Change.org, began on February 24, 2017 and was organized by UBCO student Stephanie Prentice and has since garnered 175 supporters. Entitled “Reinstate Easton Doran to run for VP Services,” the petition argues that “although [Doran] did include prohibited material in his campaign that would disqualify him from running, his campaign materials were submitted for pre-approval to CRO (Nick Ross) who authorized his campaign materials.” The petition then addresses the lack of an appropriate appeals committee which could overrule Ross’ decision to disqualify Doran, suggesting that the absence of such a body tells students that “[students'] elected officials deal with things unjustly and there is nothing that [they] can do about it.”

Upon its commencement, the petition was initially directed towards UBCSUO Executive General Manager Bob Drunkemolle, but has since been redirected towards CRO Nick Ross. Furthermore, the petition’s initial supporter goal was 100 supporters, but that number has since increased to 200 as the petition has attracted more attention from students. Comments on the petition range from demands for an apology from Ross to a call for “a student union who represents the students, and not one who pulls dirty tricks to disqualify someone after they’ve been approved”.

“The petition starts at 100 signatures and continues to increase as more people engage,” said Prentice, “I initially directed the petition to Bob Drunkenmolle because he is Nick’s boss and I assumed that since he had the authority to terminate Nick’s employment as CRO, he would most certainly have jurisdiction to overrule any of Nick’s decisions… I have since changed the petition to be directed at Nick.”

Regardless of the number of its backers, it is uncertain whether or not the petition will be successful, as the lack of an appeals committee currently prevents Doran for an opportunity at reinstatement. Furthermore, Section 54 of the UBCSUO's Elections & Referenda Regulations states that "the decisions of the CRO are final and conclusive."  Nevertheless, Doran’s disqualification has evidently caught the intrigue of the student population, and has lead to questions about the quality of leadership present within the UBCSUO.

“There is a larger issue here I believe that needs to be fixed,” said Prentice, “Our student leaders need better leadership. Getting elected or hired into a position with a title does not make you a leader, but it appears that the way that our student union is organized suggests just that.”

To read more about the reasons for Doran’s disqualification, click here.

Nick Ross could not be reached for comment in time for publishing. This article will be updated if a response is provided by Ross.