The BOA met on Sept. 17 to discuss 101 Week and academic advisor wait times. Photo: Eric Davidson.
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Board also addresses continued long academic advisor wait times

On Sunday, Sept. 17, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) Board of Administration (BOA) met to discuss items such as the dismissal of former comptroller general Yannick Mugabo, by-elections, and wait times for academic advisors.

Elections committee report

The elections committee report started with their recommendation for Chief Electoral Officer (CEO). After having the job posted for three weeks, the committee received only one application from last year’s CEO, Qussai Abu-Naqoos.. The committee found that he met all their criteria except for bilingualism, and recommended he be hired for the post.

The committee has yet to select a Chief Returning Officer, who also helps run the election, as they are waiting to confirm this with the new CEO.

Nominations for the by-election will start on Sept. 25, with voting taking place Oct. 17-19. Ballot counting will happen during the day to avoid human error, which was a problem in last year’s election.

A motion to accept this report, selecting Abu-Naqoos as CEO, passed.

Rizki Rachiq, vice-president finance for the SFUO, said there will be no online voting for the by-election, but it is an outstanding issue in committees looking to future elections.

Executive update – president

SFUO president and acting vice-president social Hadi Wess began his update by discussing 101 Week, calling it a “wild week full of wonderful things.”

Wess said that the events were very safe, seeing the least amount of ambulances called, crediting UOSERT and safety ambassadors, who were implemented this year.

Wess also called for the SFUO selection committee to begin filling its new international student representative seat on the BOA. According to Wess, the delay is only because the position is new, and going forward it will be elected along with the other positions during the February general election.

Wess also said that former SFUO comptroller general Yannick Mugabo, who was recently arrested for sexual assault, has been dismissed after a board vote. Wess confirmed that the SFUO had given statements to the Ottawa Police on the matter.

During his update, Wess said that the SFUO will shortly begin hosting monthly town hall meetings, where SFUO members will answer student questions in a public forum. The first of these town halls will take place on Sept. 27 from 2-4 p.m. at the UCU Agora. According to Wess, future town halls would also be held on Wednesdays, though the time of day could change. The meetings will be attended by the SFUO executives, the executive coordinator, business director, the health plan coordinator, and the U-Pass coordinator.

Wess closed his update saying that the SFUO has secured office space on the south side of campus, where they will be posting staff members.

Academic advisor wait times

Matthew Boulden, a board representative from the Faculty of Social Sciences, said that students in his faculty continue to face long wait times to see academic advisors, and asked if the SFUO had talked to the university about increasing the number of academic advisors.

Philippe Garcia-Duchesne, another director from the Faculty of Social Sciences, said that some members of the faculty and fed bodies are trying to meet with the vice-dean of undergraduate studies to discuss this issue.

Wess shared these sentiments, saying that he personally had to wait eight hours while a student at the U of O. Wess said that the federation is willing to provide Boulden and Garcia-Duschesne with help in dealing with the administration on the matter.

Faculty of Arts representative Tristan Lamonica said he is talking to members of the university’s Senate and Board of Governors to bring forward a motion on how academic advisors should allocate their time per student, and make other “small improvements” to decrease student wait times.

The next BOA meeting will take place on Sunday October 8 at 1pm. Location has not been decided.