Frequently Asked Questions
Curious to know how our elections process will go, what positions are up for election, and what responsibilities fall under each? Check out our answers below!
The Executive Committee is formed of seven (7) Commissioners who manage the day-to-day activities of the UOSU and oversee its operations. The positions are:
- President: The role of the President is a new position, meant to support the other commissioners in their roles, represent the UOSU in communications and in relations with RSGs and the administration. The President also takes on the managing commissioner role from the Advocacy Commissioner, sharing this along with the Operations commissioner in human resources and operations. Beyond a leadership role, the President is key to holding the Executive Committee accountable and ensuring the Executive Committee completes its projects, respects deadlines and ensures the smooth operations of the Union. The President reports to the Executive Committee and he is also the Chair of the President’s Round Table as well as the Governance Committee and the Executive Committee.
- Operations Commissioner: along with the President, is tasked with supervising the General Manager of the UOSU. This role will also direct and oversee the internal operations of the organization and is tasked with scheduling meetings, preparing agendas, preparation of the budget, financial management, and internal human resources. Should UOSU have any business dealings, the Operations Commissioner would also oversee them.
- Advocacy Commissioner: responsible for overseeing the advocacy work of the organisation, including lobbying and public education campaigns. This position is also tasked with maintaining relations with the University of Ottawa and, where appropriate, with governments and external organisations.
- Equity Commissioner: tasked with directing and overseeing the equity-building work of the UOSU. They shall advocate on behalf of marginalized communities and fight against discrimination at uOttawa. They are responsible for relations with equity-building organisations active at uOttawa.
- Francophone Affairs Commissioner: must be a student who self-identifies as francophone, shall direct and oversee services and programs aimed at francophone students, ensuring their linguistic accessibility. They shall advocate on behalf of francophones and work to promote la francophonie on campus. This role shall also deal with any bilingualism-related student complaints.
- Student Life Commissioner: responsible for student clubs and their representation in UOSU and planning of social events (such as 101 Week) This Executive will share responsibilityfor relations between the UOSU and Recognized Student Governments (Federated Bodies) and will ensure a diversity of events and social activities on the uOttawa campus. They will work closely with the administration to ensure student interests are central to event planning.
- Student Services Commissioner: The Student Services Commissioner supervises all 13 services of the UOSU, as well as the clubs of the UOSU. The Student services commissioner shall be the chair of the Services committee, which oversees the services of the UOSU, as well as things that relate to UOSU recognized student clubs and associations. This year, the Student Services Commissioner also chairs the Communications Round Table.
The BoD is a body of elected students who represent their respective faculties in the internal affairs of the UOSU. They are tasked with voting on motions, amending certain parts of the Constitution, holding monthly Board meetings, and overseeing the financials of the Union. This is an incredibly important job that doesn’t require as much time as the Commissioner positions, and it is a great opportunity to get involved in the student movement!
In order to be a Commissioner, a student must pass a bilingualism test (English and French) as administered by the University of Ottawa’s Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI). There are different levels of bilingualism requirements for each position, which you can access in both our Constitution and our Electoral Code. As it is a full-time, salaried position within the union, elected Executive Committee members cannot register for more than two (2) courses per semester in the year of their mandate, meaning that Commissioners must be part-time students or exceptionally more than two (2) courses per semester in the year of their mandate if they are international students. This is to ensure that their first priority is the job that they were elected and will be paid to do.
The UOSU’s elections will be overseen by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and the Elections Committee. They are responsible for handling complaints by candidates and applying any sanctions if required. Students may appeal sanctions handed down by the Chief Electoral Officer to the Elections Committee, and may further appeal to the Appeals Committee. Please consult our Electoral Code and our Constitution for more information.
All vacant positions on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors will be filled in a By-Election that will be held in the Fall. The newly elected Board will have the power to appoint interim Executive members to fill any vacancies on the Executive Committee; such interim Executives would be in place until their positions can be filled in the Fall By-Election.
Yes. Vacancies do not hinder the Board’s ability to pass binding motions, and any vacant Executive positions can be filled by an interim member until the Fall By-Elections take place.
The Board of Governors is the most senior corporate body that is responsible for all other aspects of the governance of the University not assigned to the Senate. This includes oversight of the management and control of the University and its property, revenues, expenditures, business, and related affairs.
Specifically, the Board approves the annual budget of the University and monitors is implementation; it establishes and collects fees and charges for tuition and other services that may be offered by the University or that may be approved by the Board on behalf of any organization or group of the University
In addition, the Board appoints the President, the Vice-Presidents and the Secretary General. It also determines the compensation and benefits of principal officers and of both the academic and administrative staff.
Please consult the Board’s website for further information.
The Senate is the highest authority on academic matters and is responsible for the sound management of academic issues on campus. The Senate has the power, subject to the approval of the Board insofar as the expenditure of funds is concerned, to create, maintain, and discontinue faculties, departments, schools and to establish chairs. It enacts by-laws and regulations for the conduct of its affairs.
In general, the Senate controls, regulates, and determines the educational and research policies of the University; determines courses of study and standards for admission to, and continued membership in, the University; and determines the qualifications for degrees and diplomas.
Please consult the Senate’s website for further information.