We as the current CUSA Executive have recused ourselves from the hiring of the Chief Electoral Officer and Deputy Electoral Officer for the By-Election under CUSA’s Conflict of Interest policy.
ByLaw XIII of CUSA “The Association” Section 3.0 stipulates the CUSA President and the appropriate CUSA Executive Member be a member of a Human Resources Committee to hire these positions. In the past, the Vice President Internal was deemed the appropriate Executive Member for this Human Resources Committee.
We made a pledge that elections would change. Given this By-election is moving forward under the procedures in place at the time of the presidential vacancy, we feel this recusal is most in keeping with our commitment to democratic reform and fair hiring processes.
Make no mistake, actions such as this recusal should not be necessary or become simply a norm within CUSA which can be reversed on the whims of a single executive. Major reforms are necessary to remove sitting executives from the electoral process. We will be making bold recommendations to both the Democratic Reform Committee and CUSA Council before the regular election in January to ensure candidates and students have good reason to trust the electoral process.
Flatly, in our view, it was wrong that sitting executives eligible for re-election ever had the ability to hire the CEO and DEO. While we recognize it is possible to have a fair process while being involved as executives, it can be perceived that the process was unfair even when it was fair, and that seed of doubt can and has damaged student faith in CUSA elections, and is unfair to CEOs and DEOs.
We will not be putting forward a motion to strike the Human Resources Committee. We trust CUSA Council to strike the Human Resources Committee for these hirings in a way that is in compliance with CUSA’s existing ByLaws and Conflict of Interest policy but also in a way that commands respect, is fair, and appears above board to the general student population.
We are eagerly anticipating the Democratic Reform Committee’s report in the fall semester. We as Ravens are in for an exciting year. Restoring dignity to CUSA elections, establishing checks and balances on executive powers, and returning control of our students’ union to the Carleton University undergraduate student body will take time and active student participation, but will be worth the effort.
Ahmad, Callie, Daisy, Valentina, Venassa