News

St-Amour told to go through different channels

AT THE BOARD of Administration (BOA) meeting on Nov. 12, Sébastien St-Amour, a fifth-year political science student at the U of O, proposed changes to the Student Federation of the Univer- sity of Ottawa (SFUO) election process. Although St-Amour was interrupted before finishing, he is determined to have his voice heard by BOA members.

His actions were motivated by last year’s SFUO election results, when Sar- ah Jayne King won the position of vp fi- nance, despite earning fewer votes than her opponent, Tristan Dénommée, who was disqualified from the race.

“The constitution stipulates that in case there’s a sole candidate running … as long as you receive a plurality of votes you’re eligible to be elected as an exec member,” said St-Amour, referring to section 4.14.1 of the SFUO constitution.

“I want to change the definition of an elected candidate, making it clear in the constitution and the electoral rules that to win you need to get elected by the stu- dents and not by a loophole in the con- stitution,” he added.

At the BOA meeting, St-Amour was interrupted by Amy Hammett, vp stu- dent affairs for the SFUO. Hammett and other BOA members maintained St-Amour did not go through the right channels to make the changes to the con- stitution at the meeting on Nov. 12.

“I think that today was not the right time to discuss the changes Sébastien wanted to bring forward because they have to do with the constitution and not the elections,” said Jesse Root, BOA representative for the Faculty of Social Sciences. “I had spoken to Sébastien and we both decided that a constitutional change is the best way to go forward with what he’s trying to accomplish.”

Sarah Jayne King, the current vp finance for the SFUO, echoed Root’s statement, explaining that only a motion presented by a BOA member to the board can make changes to the constitution.

“What he was saying is not going to be a motion at all—it’s not going to change anything,” said King. “If he wanted to do that, it would have to be a constitutional change and it would have to happen at the next meeting in order to take effect.”

St-Amour said he’s determined to bring the proposed changes in front of the BOA for their approval, claiming a BOA member, who asked to remain anonymous, will put forward the mo- tion on St-Amour’s behalf.

“One way or another, I’m going to be heard by the BOA members,” said St-Amour. “Whether it’s at the table or individually, I want to make sure that every BOA member hears my side of the story, my rationale, and my explanation of what democracy is and how it should be done at this university.”

—Jane Lytvynenko