An update on a student referendum and the continuation of student services

Posted on Friday, December 7, 2018

Referendum to designate an undergraduate student association

A referendum will be held Monday, February 11, 2019, for all full and part-time undergraduate students to select a student association to represent their interests.

With this referendum, the University wants to ensure that undergraduate students are represented by an association that clearly intends to implement the principles of good governance. These principles include accountability to students, transparency in operations, sound financial management, and respect for equity and fairness in the workplace.

All full and part-time undergraduate students who are duly registered at uOttawa on that date will be eligible to vote in the referendum. Information to explain the voting process will be provided soon.

The University has appointed Lucie Allaire, a former uOttawa ombudsperson, as Chief Referendum Officer (CRO). She will enjoy complete independence in establishing and administering the rules of the referendum process and will also determine the eligibility of all groups who present themselves as candidates. Ms Allaire’s impartiality, fairness, and commitment to students’ interests are well known. She will be assisted in her work by a referendum committee consisting of three students, Carly Boisvert, Rachel Dion and Tristan Lamonica. The University is delighted that all four have agreed to accept this important assignment.

The CRO will also be responsible for ensuring that candidate groups post their campaign expenses publically. All inquiries and complaints may be directed to the CRO who will render decisions, in consultation with the referendum committee, based on the referendum rules.

Organized groups wishing to be considered as potential candidates must consist entirely of undergraduate students, either full or part-time, currently registered at uOttawa. To be eligible to run in the referendum, the Candidate Group must:

  1. Present a list of at least four designated representatives of the group who are all registered as undergraduate students, full or part-time, and who will continue to be registered for the winter 2019 semester;
  2. Commit to running elections for the appointment of elected executives, if chosen as the representative association during the winter 2019 semester;
  3. Have the written support of 10 undergraduate students who endorse their nomination.

They must submit a letter of intent to the CRO, in both English- and French-language versions, to include the following information:

  • the name of the group;
  • the names of all prospective officers or organizers, their student numbers, and postal mail and email addresses;
  • a signed consent to act from each officer or organizer;
  • a commitment to respect the referendum rules, including campaign spending limits and the campaign process, as stipulated by the CRO;
  • an assurance that no third-party organizations or paid employees will campaign on their behalf nor provide any campaign support, financial or otherwise;
  • if designated as the successful group, a commitment to complete and demonstrate incorporation as a non-profit organization within ten (10) days following the announcement, if not already so incorporated.

Nominations may be submitted to beginning Monday, December 10 until Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST.

The campaign period will officially begin on Wednesday, January 16 and end Tuesday, February 10 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

The CRO will communicate directly with undergraduate students to explain the rules of eligibility and the referendum process.

An independent and highly experienced third-party firm, Dominion Voting, will run the electronic voting process.

The winner of the referendum will invite undergraduate students to submit nominations and then will organize an election in March 2019 for students in which a full list of nominated candidates for executive positions will be presented.

Continuation of student services

On September 25, the University announced its intention to terminate its agreement with the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) on December 24, 2018. As uOttawa’s primary concern is to protect the interests of its students, the university is committed to ensuring the continuation of all services financed by authorized fee levies collected by the University.

To ensure continuity of services for the winter 2019 term, the University is currently negotiating an interim agreement with the SFUO to maintain services until a student association is designated following the March election. We will keep you informed as soon as additional details become available.

David Graham Provost and Vice-President Academic Affairs

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