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Low investment in by-elections outcome

Votes cast in the Student Union Society (SUS) by-election totalled 10. Of the five positions that were vacant and open for candidacy, only one student ran for one position. The uncontested candidacy for Aboriginal rep received all votes in favour, and no votes for “no” or “no opinion.” The other four positions remain unfilled.

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Votes cast in the Student Union Society (SUS) by-election totalled 10.

Of the five positions that were vacant and open for candidacy, only one student ran for one position.

The uncontested candidacy for Aboriginal rep received all votes in favour, and no votes for “no” or “no opinion.” The other four positions remain unfilled.

By-elections are held in the fall to attempt to fill vacant positions on the SUS Board of Directors that do not get filled during the general election in March.

“The SUS by-elections were advertised for two months through extensive postering on campus and regular social media messaging,” SUS vice president internal Ashmeet Saran said in an email.

Despite the extensive postering, very little interest was generated for the by-elections.

“Even though by-elections usually have a low voter turnout, we will yet continue to promote the by-election voting period in the future years because it yet involves voting for a potential candidate — even though most of the time the positions are uncontested,” said Saran.

Saran said that student feedback revealed that students who were aware of the by-elections and did not vote, did so predominantly for three different reasons.

“They did not feel the need to vote because the sole candidate for Aboriginal rep position was uncontested,” said Saran, adding that “They tried to find the voting page on MyCampusLife and weren’t able to, or they tried to find the ‘Elections and Surveys’ section on myUFV to vote as they have in the past and couldn’t find it.”

SUS will continue to promote elections as they have been so that students are aware of the process and who they may vote for.

“We were expecting a higher voter turnout,” said Saran.

Low interest in by-elections is not uncommon to SUS, and in the 2014 by-elections, only one person ran for a position out of four positions set to be filled.

In previous years, requirements for the elected representatives have been simplified to make the positions more manageable and potentially more appealing for candidates.

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