The new CSU chief electoral officer, Stephan Herman has a big job ahead of him. He has to inform students of an upcoming CSU election and get students confident in the CSU’s election process.
“When I decided to apply for the job, I looked at all the problems of previous elections. I told myself that no matter what happened before, the election that I was going to run would be open,” Herman said.
In an open letter to the Concordia student body, the CEO reiterated the negative effect that the past year has had on the faith of the students in the electoral process and the office of the CEO. As a result, Herman and Youri Cormier the deputy electoral officer (DEO), will be maintaining an open door policy in the hopes that this election will be a successful one. The office will be open at all times and students are encouraged to drop in and ask questions.
“We’re going all out this year,” said Cormier. There are two levels to the upcoming March election: informing students and recreating confidence. “They [students] need to know their voices will be heard,” said Herman.
The first level is a marketing campaign. Its purpose is to inform students by using posters and supplying information on the CSU and its services. A booth will be set up on the Mezzanine of the Hall building where the CEO, DEO and/or their assistants will be. There will also be a booth at the Loyola campus.
The second level is aimed at avoiding any mishaps and errors in the electoral process. Every voting table will be manned by at least one individual who has experience. Also, extra security measures are being taken to ensure the safest and most satisfactory vote possible.
As for voter turnout, which historically has proven to be less than 10 per cent, the only solution is the most obvious one – go out and vote. He is not convinced that this new transparent electoral process will change the number of voters.
In the CEO’s open letter to students, there are hints at increased public interest in the coming vote. “A lot of people outside the university are watching this election. Ignore them; it’s your voice and your desire that matters.”
Herman said he has been directly informed that the Ministry of Education has been watching Concordia very closely and will continue to do so over the next month. There has also been a lot of media interest as Concordia appeared in many newscasts last week following last Friday’s press conference.
“The idea is that the students should be concentrating only on the upcoming election and whether they will vote and which candidates they want to vote for,” Herman said.
Rector and Vice-Chancellor Frederick Lowy said in a statement issued yesterday, he had met with Herman and said he was confident that everything possible would be done to ensure that the upcoming elections would be conducted fairly. He also urged that all students go out and vote.
Nominations end on March 11 at midnight. Campaigning will then begin and continue until the 25th.