Voting in the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) elections began Monday online and at polling stations across campus.
Although candidates are technically allowed to campaign during the voting period, the official campaign period only began last Wednesday, which has left a lot of people wondering if the candidates had enough time to run effective campaigns and students enough time to fully understand the platforms they’re voting for.
RSU president Andrea Bartlett says the decision to shorten the campaign (last year’s was two weeks) came after the RSU received complaints from students.
The length of last year’s campaign meant that it overlapped with other campus elections — the senate and Board of Governors — which left students confused about who was running in which election and what they were voting for.
Presidential candidate for Impact, Obaid Ullah, said he doesn’t think the shortened campaign will hurt him and his slate.
“It helps, just having two or three days. You go in full-force and it actually helps your campaign,” Ullah said.
He says that working with a shorter time frame can change how candidates craft their campaigns and strategies. For Ullah, the strategy includes an effort to maintain a constant presence on campus.
This is not Ullah’s first election campaign. He is the current vice-president operations in the RSU and part of the decision-making body that signed off on shortening the campaign period.
Awo Abokor, a first-time candidate running for president on the RU Connected slate, said she thinks three days is too brief, but she is trying to make the best of what she has to work with.
“The campaign is super short, but we have a great group of students who are committed to getting our platform out there,” Abokor said.
“I’m confident students are getting it. It’s a challenge but I think we’re rising to it.”
According to the RSU bylaws, there is no set minimum or maximum length that election campaigns should be.
However, the bylaws state that, in general, all voting in RSU-related elections must be done before the first week of April.