‘Smooth sailing’ so far: CEO
JAN. 16 MARKED the beginning of the election period for students who want to run for the Student Federation at the University of Ottawa (SFUO) executive and its Board of Administration (BOA). According to the SFUO Election Office staff, the nomination period is progressing smoothly, with significant interest from students.
“It only has just begun, and so far it has been smooth sailing,” said Julia McDonald, chief electoral officer. “Most of the work we have been working on so far is making sure the logistical aspect of the elections will be running transparently and efficiently, as well as ensuring events and the promotional elements are secure.”
McDonald and Crystel Hajjar, chief returning officer, are University of Ottawa graduates who were never involved with the SFUO or the BOA; however, they are both looking forward to engaging students in this election and are already promoting participation.
“We had [nomination] forms printed at the SFUO office and we keep a sign-out sheet. There has been a significant number of signatures,” said McDonald of the nomination period interest. “We will be using social media as a tool and a strategy to get the word out [to students].”
Posters, emails, advertisements, and events will promote the elections to students, added Hajjar. McDonald added that the extra promotion is necessary because this year there is a referendum question on whether to keep the U-Pass.
“Whenever there are referendum questions, they are usually pertinent to the student experience,” she said. “The period for referendum committees to form, for the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ vote, is until Jan. 27.”
McDonald and Hajjar are also planning events for those running in the election, like debates and meet-and-greets.
“It will be the same as in the years past,” said McDonald. “There will be debates that will be divided into two days. The dates are yet to be finalized.”
The final list of candidates will be posted on the elections website on Jan. 27, after the candidates have completed their bilingualism testing.
“We really encourage all students to get out and vote,” said Hajjar. “We think the elections are a very important place for students to voice their concerns and we’d love to see a higher turnout.”
Students will be able to vote Feb 14–16 at one of 12 locations on campus.
For more information on the elections, visit the official website at Elections.sfuo.ca.