‘Let’s keep staying involved and keep building a union that works for everyone’
On Saturday evening, the University of Ottawa Student Union (UOSU) published its 2021 General Election results. Current advocacy commissioner, Tim Gulliver was elected the union’s second-ever president in an undisputed race.
Gulliver was elected on the back of 1,428 votes accepting his candidature — 691 students who voted in other UOSU races abstained and 204 students rejected his candidacy.
Gulliver had initially launched his campaign on March 17 and accompanied the announcement with the release of his platform which detailed his plans for the 2021/2022 academic year.
The platform consisted of six sections; “Building Care & Community as We Recover from COVID-19, Strengthening Student Democracy, A Union That Fights For Justice, Building Student Trust in a Transparent Union, Delivering Concrete Change, [and] How I’ll Support Your UOSU Executive.”
In a live question and answer hosted by the Fulcrum on March 19, Gulliver shared that he ran for UOSU president after seeing what student movements could achieve over the past year when they were “united and pushing issues that matter and fight for all of us, not some of us.”
During the live interview hosted by the Fulcrum’s editor-in-chief Charley Dutil, Gulliver also spoke about his work as advocacy commissioner in the last year.
“I’m quite proud of how we were able to get so many people to sign onto the petition calling for a pass [or] fail course in the fall and winter semesters, and we got it,” shared Gulliver.
“It was one of those things where, quite frankly, no one at the university wanted it but because we put forward good arguments and came together as a student body … we were able to get that one pass/fail course for the majority of students.”
Gulliver also detailed his experiences in the role that broadened the union’s “access” to the provincial and federal government. He recalled testifying at a house of commons committee in June of 2020 and believes having the ear of decision makers will be important for the union going forward.
When asked why he decided to run for president Gulliver responded: “It’s hard to step away from something when you know there is so much work left to do, and there’s so much potential and so much more that you have to give.”
His plans to increase support for first years include detailed plans to start a first year council to have the voices of new students heard by UOSU given that they won’t be able to sit on the BOD as elections have passed.
Since the election results were made public Saturday night, Gulliver took to Facebook to congratulate his fellow candidates in other races and expressed his excitement to begin work with his elected colleagues.
“I want to thank you for electing me to serve as the next president of the UOSU. And thank you for electing a great Executive team,” read the post.
“Together, I believe we will be a diverse, progressive, representative Executive that will work hard to fight for all of us.”
“Hope is on the way,” Gulliver told his followers on his outlook for the 2021/22 academic year.
“Vaccines are coming, and as we slowly begin to return to campus life, we will do our best to rebuild the campus experience, all while making changes and fighting for accommodations to improve our lives in the remaining months of this pandemic.”
A number of newly elected UOSU executives expressed their excitement to work with Gulliver in the upcoming term. The union’s outgoing president, Babacar Faye, congratulated Gulliver in a comment on Facebook which prompted Gulliver to thank Faye, calling him a “mentor and inspiration”.
Gulliver concluded his Facebook statement by saying, “thank you everyone for participating in this campaign and for voting. Let’s keep staying involved and keep building a union that works for everyone.”