The Tomato

The SFUO is launching a full investigation into Russian tampering in its electoral process. Photo: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik, CC, Bruce the Deus. Edits: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik.
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Concerns of tampering sparked after SFUO finds vodka bottles in their office

Panic has gripped the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), as executive members suspect that the Russian government is trying to influence the results of the upcoming election.

Security concerns were first raised when SFUO president Roméo Ahimakin found a wrapped present on his desk. Upon opening the gift, Ahimakin was mortified to see several bottles of vodka.

“I couldn’t read the label, but it looked like a Russian code,” he stressed.

Ahimakin said that SFUO translators are working furiously to decode the message, a process that will be done in a brisk four months.

“There are a number of issues the SFUO is dealing with right now: student businesses, maintaining cash flow, and tuition hikes,” said Francesco Caruso, the SFUO’s vice-president communications. “But I think we can all agree the real threat is Russia tampering with our electoral process.”

According to sources who have studied Russian on Duolingo, the former Cold War superpower is embarking on a top-secret program to spread chaos across Canadian university campuses.

“They want to sow mistrust between students and their student federations, cause financial disruptions, and generally give the federations a bad public image,” said an anonymous source. “I’m sure that will be a tall order at the U of O.”

As it stands, it’s not clear how Russia might influence an SFUO election. Pundits are speculating that they might try and sponsor damaging hacks revealing personal information on candidates.

“Luckily, the SFUO seems to be prepared for this,” said U of O cybersecurity expert Michel Ghost. “Their website is so dense and impenetrable that no hacker will be able to get access to any sensitive information … or any information really.”

Others fear that Russia will offer free meal plans to influence the small number of students who plan to vote.

“It wouldn’t be the first time a government has been brought down by overcooked pizza,” said Ghost.

To increase their security, the SFUO will be making strategic adjustments to its voting process.

“As of now, students will have to write their choices in Pig Latin,” said Caruso. “It’s for your own afety-say.”

Caruso also assured students that polling stations would be located far away from 1848’s “Eastern European Block Party” events, to avoid any drunken espionage.

Finally, the SFUO has decided to randomly distribute voting hours to thwart any enemy actors.

“It might be a little inconvenient to vote at 4:30 a.m., but that’s the price you pay for security.” said Caruso.

At a recent board meeting, Thomas Adams, a concerned student, asked Caruso how we could be sure Russia hadn’t been tampering with SFUO elections in previous years.

“до свидания,” Caruso replied.