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The interim equity commissioner will begin their mandate on June 1. Photo via Facebook.

The University of Ottawa Students’ Union is hiring an interim equity commissioner, the association’s only executive position left vacant through its April 2019 general election and referendum.

The person selected for the inaugural role will be tasked with directing the union’s equity building work, advocating for marginalized students while preventing and remedying unjust discrimination, and managing relations with the university’s other equity-building organizations, according to the union’s constitutional mandate.

They will also oversee the Centre for Students with Disabilities, the Multi-Faith Centre, the Pride Centre, the Racialized and Indigenous Student Experience Centre, and the Women’s Resource Centre. All were previously run by the U of O’s now-defunct undergraduate student union, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa.

Applications for the interim equity commissioner closed May 17. The successful applicant will be chosen by the UOSU’s elected board of directors. The position itself will run from June 1 until the union’s by-election, slated for October.

The UOSU’s four other executive positions were filled during the election that ran from April 3 to 5, but all were uncontested: Sam Schroeder (advocacy commissioner), Natasha Lyne Roy (Francophone affairs commissioner), Rony Fotsing (operations commissioner), and Jason Seguya (student life commissioner). They will also begin their mandates on June 1.

Voter turnout during the April election was significantly higher than previous elections held by the SFUO. About 16 per cent of eligible voters participated in the UOSU’s first election, in contrast to an eight and 11.5 per cent voter turnout for the SFUO’s 2016 and 2015 elections respectively. Data was unavailable for the SFUO’s 2018 or 2017 elections.