The nominations process for University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) elections is underway, but chief returning officer (CRO) Jacqueline Keena is remaining quiet about which students have put their names in for executive and community representative positions.
According to election rules, Keena is prohibited from revealing the identities of election hopefuls until Feb. 14, when nominations close. Similarly, openly expressing intent to run is considered pre-campaigning, and leaves candidates subject to penalization.
Keena noted that no current UMSU executive had yet taken a leave from his or her position (as of Feb. 7) in order to participate in elections. This may not be predictive of intent to run, however, as executives wishing to run again are only required to relinquish their duties from Feb. 14 until the official announcement of election results.
Individuals intent on running for executive positions at UMSU are required to collect 100 signatures from union members, while aspiring community representative candidates require 15.
It is not yet clear if every community representative position, or even every executive position, will be competed for. In the past two years, at least with community representative positions, this has not been the case.
In 2012, there were no nominees for students living with disabilities representative, and only one candidate ran for each of Aboriginal students’ rep, LGBTT* rep, and women’s rep.
In 2013, only one candidate ran for each of women’s rep and LGBTTQ* rep, while no nominee appeared on the ballot for Aboriginal students’ rep. Clyford Sinclair, current Aboriginal students’ representative, took up that seat post-election following an Oct. 7 vote by UMSU Council in which he beat out Morene Gabriel.