Photo: Eric Davidson.
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Comptroller general “blindsided” by regulations preventing her from running

The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) held a last-minute Board of Administration (BOA) meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 15 in Montpetit Hall.

There were only two items on the agenda. First was the second reading of governance review motion brought by the SFUO at their last BOA meeting on Nov. 5. As it is a constitutional change, the motion required two readings. The second item on the list was a time-sensitive motion to allow the SFUO’s new comptroller general to run in this year’s general election.

The governance review, which looks to rejig and clarify the roles of executive positions of the SFUO, passed fairly easily, though some board members were unclear about how all the requirements listed would be enforced. SFUO president Hadi Wess said that the language requirement would be tested, but as others are more difficult to test, they would be used more as guidelines for those who are trying to decide if the position is right for them.

Now that the governance review motion has passed its second reading, it will officially become part of the SFUO’s updated constitution.

The second motion saw longer discussions. Last year’s SFUO general elections saw a previous comptroller general, Tanner Tallon, running against the current vice-president finance Rizki Rachiq. Rachiq said at the Nov. 15 meeting that Tallon abused his powers as comptroller general to audit his opponents and cast doubt over the election results once Rachiq won.

After the election, the BOA voted to remove Tallon from his post in a session that was closed to the public.They also voted at another meeting to enforce a “cool down period” where the comptroller general has to wait a year before running in SFUO elections.

However, current comptroller general Pamela Bader said that she was not told of this rule when she was accepted the position. She added that as the constitution posted on the federation’s website is out of date, there was no way that she could have been expected to know that she would not be allowed to run in the next general election.

Because of this, members of the BOA put forward a motion designed specifically around Bader, saying that she would be allowed to run for an executive position on the SFUO this coming election. They did this at a special meeting because the nomination period for the election begins in December.

Bader said she wants to run in the upcoming election, though she did not specify which executive position. She added that she was “blindsided” by the news that under current rules, she would not be allowed to run.

Several members of the current executive, including Wess and Rachiq, said they wanted the motion to pass, as it was unfair to Bader that she had not been given the accurate information.

After some debate, the motion passed.

However, this motion deals only with Bader’s case. Members of the board said that they will bring motions to deal with how comptrollers general can run in SFUO elections in future years at their BOA meeting in December.

The next BOA meeting will be held on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. with a location to be announced at a later date.