Dear UTSU Members,
We’ve come to recognize that requiring 100 signatures from UTSU members to complete an executive nomination package for our upcoming elections is a challenging barrier during lockdown.
While in-person elections in the past have allowed for easier access to nomination requirements, we understand that this has become an increasingly difficult reality for prospective candidates due to the restrictions posed by COVID-19.
The UTSU believes in making participation in student politics as accessible as possible, and to that effect we have three important announcements:
- We are extending the spring election nomination period 7 days until March 5 at 5pm EST
- We are proposing an amendment to the Elections Procedure Code at the upcoming Board of Directors Meeting to change the 100 signature nomination requirement for executive candidates, reducing it to 50 as a response to COVID-19. We have also proposed a reduction in director signatures from 25 to 20.
- To reduce financial barriers, campaign spending limits are reduced, but expenses will be reimbursed in full. The new spending limits are $500 for executive positions and $100 for board of directors positions. As long as each candidate receives at least 5% of the popular vote they will be reimbursed for 100% of their campaign expenditures.
We recognize that many candidates have already overcome some of these challenges, and we want to thank them for doing so, and also apologize for not making these necessary changes prior to initiating the election cycle. For candidates who have not yet met their nomination requirements, we hope this now makes it possible for them to continue their participation. This decision aims to reduce barriers for participation during what is already a very difficult time for candidates. Thank you to everyone who has thrown their hat in the ring so far.
Yours in Service,
The 2020-2021 UTSU Executive
Muntaka Ahmed, President
Dermot O’Halloran, Vice-President Operations
Tyler Riches, Vice-President Public & University Affairs
Alex McLean, Vice-President Equity
Neeharika Hemrajani, Vice-President Student Life
Paul Kaita, Vice-President Professional Faculties