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Statement on the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) and the QSAFE NOPIRG Referendum Campaigns

January 30, 2012

KINGSTON, ON – It has come to the attention of the Alma Mater Society (AMS) Elections Team that inaccurate and defamatory information has been distributed in relation to the referendum question, “Do you agree to the continuation of the OPIRG fee of $4.00 (subject to individual opt-out) for the next three years?” These tactics have impaired the ability of the AMS to “ensure the existence of a level playing field as the basis for resolving referendum questions in a fair and impartial manner.” (Policy Manual 1, Section 4: Elections and Referenda). 

The Elections Team has learned that individuals external to both campaigns have been disseminating false information about to the activities and positions of OPIRG Kingston and the QSAFE NOPIRG campaign.

The Elections Team has also learned that individuals have publicly harassed and defamed members of both campaigns. The AMS Elections Team condemns these malicious personal attacks on members of both campaign groups.  Referendum fee campaigns may talk about the issue at hand, but individual allegations or accusations have no place during the campaigns. The individuals responsible for these personal attacks will be prosecuted as appropriate by the Elections Team through the Non-Academic Discipline system.

Students may visit opirgkingston.org and fb.com/NOPIRG to learn more about the positions of both groups, and may visit myAMS.org/elections for more information on AMS Elections & Referenda. We encourage all students to make fully informed voting decisions on January 31st and February 1st.

CONTACT:
Please direct all questions or concerns on this matter to Patrick Allin, Chief Electoral Officer, at ceo@ams.queensu.ca or 613-533-6000 ext. 74851.

Click here to download this press release as a PDF.