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By-election to fill two vacant AUS positions

The Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) is holding a by-election for two positions, following the resignation of both the vice-president academic and an Arts representative to the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) in the past two months. The nomination period for the vacant positions will run from Sept. 6 to Sept. 24, and the election period will take place in an online vote from Oct. 3 to Oct. 8.

“Both elections, which will occur in the same time frame [and] on the same ballot, will follow the same calendar, require the same compliance with nomination, campaign, and polling regulations, [as well as] preserve the fairness and equality of the McGill election system,” Sophia Reuss, AUS chief returning officer of elections, said.

Students may put forth their name for nomination if they can acquire a minimum of 75 student signatures. Only Arts students may vote for Arts representative, but both Arts and Arts and Science students may vote for the VP Academic.

Former Vice-President Academic Colleen Morawetz resigned on July 29, citing personal reasons for leaving the position.

“I am still very invested in the AUS, and I will be doing all I can to help the current executives ensure a smooth transition,” Morawetz said.

On Sept. 4, Steven Curran resigned from his position as one of three Arts representatives to SSMU.

“[Curran] resigned on the first day of classes after realizing that courses conflicted with the AUS Council meetings, which are mandatory in terms of attendance,” Reuss said.

At the Sept. 4 AUS meeting, Council voted that AUS President Justin Fletcher would be designated to sit on SSMU Council on behalf of Arts students until a new Arts representative was elected. They also determined that an interim vice-president academic would not be appointed.

“The executive committee at this juncture is able to handle the VP academic portfo1lio tasks,” Fletcher said, adding that training an interim VP academic who would then go up for election may be more disruptive to their yearly work plans than waiting until October, when the new VP academic and Arts representative will be elected.

Duties of the VP academic include acting as a liaison between AUS and various committees and university services such as the library and OASIS (Arts Advising), as well as distributing the Arts Student Employment Fund, which provides funding for the creation of academically based job opportunities for undergraduate Arts students.

Fletcher explained that AUS operations would not be greatly affected by the resignations.

“The executive committee is currently handling the responsibilities of the VP academic portfolio,” he said. “I expect this arrangement to continue until the conclusion of elections, with little to no implications for the operations of the AUS. While they have required the executive committee to put forth more time, the AUS executives ran for this position in March with the understanding that it is our responsibility to serve and protect the interests of Arts students here at McGill.”

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