The election was triggered due to a “mechanism within the… election policy that is based on the number of executives that are actually elected versus the number that are appointed.” According to the 2010 SUS By-Election Nomination Package, a by-election must automatically be called if two-thirds of the SUS executives in total are appointed instead of elected.
In order to be nominated to campaign, a student must complete a nomination package. The package requires students to: identify the position that they wish to run for and to briefly state why they are seeking a position with the Student Union Society; what they think is the most pressing issue for the SUS to address; and what they suggest be done by the SUS to address the growth UFV is currently experiencing and to successfully provide a fun and safe experience for its students outside of the classroom.
Previously, these answers have been printed in the Cascade to help make them accessible to students. Additionally, students are required to obtain a minimum of 20 signatures from currently-registered UFV students.
There are a number of positions currently open to qualified candidates. The available executive positions are: President, Vice President Finance, Vice President and Vice President Social. The Trades Representative, International Representative and Residence Representative positions are open as well.
In addition to being currently enrolled in at least one credit class at UFV, the Trades Representative must currently be enrolled in a Trades Program. In addition, the International Representative must be an International Student and the Residence Representative must be currently living at Baker House.
Jhim Burwell, Communications Administrator for the UFV SUS, suggests that students wishing to campaign may have an advantage if they have a special interest in what they’re actually running for. For example, “if you’re an accounting student and you’re interested in finance, you might want to run for VP finance… If you’re… interested in running on-campus events, you’re going to want to run for social… that kind of thing.”
However, Burwell added that students can perform well in their positions even if they don’t directly relate to their field of study or interests. “We’ve had a particularly successful philosopher that was [VP of Finance].”
If elected, the Representative at Large and Community Representatives are mandated to make a time commitment of 5 office hours per week, while Executives have a commitment of 15 office hours. These hours can “include anything from going out and handing out flyers to get students interested and aware of… different events or different programs we’ve got going to sitting in the office and helping us with some of the administrative things, like going over the elections policy and trying to streamline it.”
Burwell said that while this is the minimum required amount, many students do choose to devote more of their time to the SUS. However, he said that, while this kind of enthusiasm is appreciated, SUS does not want students’ studies to suffer on account of it. “Do not let this negatively impact your GPA… There has to be a balance.”
Additionally, all elected candidates must attend regular board meetings – usually held Friday mornings – and are expected to schedule their classes to accommodate these meetings.
Burwell said that the amount of candidates interested in running varies widely with each semester, and that at times there are not even enough students running to fill all available positions. Last semester, for example, not enough students ran to fill all nine Representative at Large positions.
However, Burwell said that this is not entirely a bad thing, “I think that it takes a very certain kind of person to be interested in the way that things are being run in the first place [because] students have so many considerations in their lives… But the good thing about that is that… we elect people that are capable and that are going to look to represent the students whether [the students] are going to pay attention to it or not.
The ones that are interested are the ones that are actually going to… step up and try and make sure that we’re working in the best interests of the students, which is always our intent.”
The campaign period for nominees will begin on November 16, and will come to a close on November 23. All Candidates Meetings will be held on November 16 and 18 in which campaigners will present their platforms to the student body. Polling will take place online: each student can cast their vote by logging in to MyUFV. Polling opens at 12:01 a.m. on November 24 and ends December 1 at 11:59 p.m.