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SFUO president calls committee ‘redundant’

Spencer Van Dyk | Fulcrum Staff

The Student Federation of the Univeristy of Ottawa (SFUO) Board of Administration (BOA) abolished its promotions committee at its monthly meeting Aug. 25.

The promotions committee was made up of four existing BOA members and responsible, according to its mandate, for “increasing voter participation, evaluating and making recommendations on the voting process, increasing student involvement on campus by promoting services, businesses, social programming, and other initiatives of the SFUO, and supervising the promotion team.”

The motion will be brought to vote again and ratified at the next BOA meeting on Sept. 22. The motion was brought forth by SFUO president Anne-Marie Roy.

“There was potential there for the committee to become more active,” Roy said. “However, what I realized especially when I was vp communications last year is that the committee is a little bit redundant.  For one, we have a promotions and marketing department, as well as the position of vp services and communications, which wasn’t the case when the promo committee was first put in place. “

Roy said the committee’s responsibilities are redundant because those same roles are delegated to other committees within the SFUO.

“For me this was just a bit of housekeeping,” she said. “We are just removing a committee that is no longer active and no longer doing work for the student federation.”

The elections committee is in charge of all SFUO election-related duties and all other promotions committee tasks are largely handled by vp services and communications Brad Lafortune. Also, because BOA members often run for re-election, they are prohibited from participating in the promotions committee at the risk of conflicts of interest.

“Because what the committee could actually do in terms of its function was so limited, and because it conflicted and was repetitive, I just thought it wasn’t useful,” Roy said. “Also, as far as I know, the promotions committee hasn’t been meeting and has not done so for years. If they wanted to move forward on new initiatives, they were meeting roadblocks because they were repeating the mandate.”

Five BOA members voted against the motion. Katya Moussatova, the BOA representative for the faculty of social sciences who was also part of the promotions committee said she felt it was not redundant, but instead not utilized to its potential.

“I voted against,” she said. “I wanted to be on the committee for a reason.  I think I would’ve been a very valuable asset to them, because I’m quite good with design and what not. I voted against because just because other years did not make good use of the time and good use of the committee does not mean that we wouldn’t this year. My opinion is that you can’t really judge based on the past. “

Moussatova said the committee had not been called to meet at all over the summer months. She views the committee as part of a collective group of ideas and said she would like to get involved with SFUO promotions but no longer sees an avenue to do so.