Every year, Marc Garneau holds elections to determine the new student council for the following school year. The students that are chosen will hold the positions of President, Vice-President, Clubs Convenor, Treasurer, External Affairs Officer, Athletic Convenor, Social Justice and Equity Convenor, Special Events Convenor, Graduation Convenor, Communications Coordinator, Spirit Coordinator, Chairperson, or Secretary for the 2017-2018 school year. While some roles require prerequisites such as serving on SAC or being a club executive for at least two terms, all students are encouraged to apply. The election follows a standard procedure, but this year some minor changes were made to the process.
The election process began at the end of May. SAC advertised the news through morning announcements and posters. The council also posted details regarding important dates and the electoral process on Facebook and Instagram.
Similar to previous years, students wishing to run as a SAC candidate submitted an application form to SAC by 18 May. The form required three teacher and three student recommendations. At least one of the student nominators had to be in a specialized program such as BSAP, TOPS, or ESL. Along with the recommendations, students were required to write an abstract outlining the platform of their candidacy and one hundred word biography to be used online when students are voting. All applications were reviewed by the school administration before approved candidates were allowed to proceed to campaign week.
Prior to the due date for applications on 15 May, SAC held a public Q&A and candidates meeting in the library after school. The meeting included a presentation explaining the election’s timeline and the positions available. Executives also described their duties this year and answered questions from interested students.
Campaign week began on 25 May and will continue until 31 May. During this period, candidates may put up posters and release their video speeches. Khalida Elsadati, SAC Vice President, said, “Campaign week is when the candidates really need to get their names out there. This impacts who the students will choose to vote for.”
While mostly similar to last year, there were some minor changes made to the electoral process. In previous years, there has been only one SAC meeting and Q&A, held right before campaign week for candidates only. However, this year, a general meeting for all students was held before any candidates had submitted applications. SAC then held a second meeting for confirmed candidates after they were announced.
Another change is the number of posters that candidates are allowed to print. In previous years, a large issue was the waste of paper caused by the election period. To help reduce the amount of waste, the number of posters per candidate was lowered from sixty to forty. Lastly, only those running for President, Vice-President, Grad Convenor, Social Convenor, and Special Events Convenor will present speeches to the school rather than all SAC candidates.
SAC will also likely implement changes to positions such as the Grad Convenor and the Special Events Convenor. The Special Events Convenor is only currently responsible for the International Show, while the Grad Convenor is responsible for prom and senior sweaters. Since all these duties take place late in second semester, the Convenors sit idle throughout most of the school year. Next year, the Special Events Convenor will likely also be responsible for creating ethnic clubs and arranging rehearsals for Garneau’s various talent shows. Mr. Alexander also plans to change the position’s name to Intercultural Community Convenor.
The Senior Yearbook—a task undertaken this year by the SAC President—and a graduation trip, will become the responsibility of the Grad Convenor. He hopes that these changes will allow the convenors to maximize their accomplishments during the school year.
The voting for SAC elections will be open from 5 to 9 June. As with previous years, the voting will take place through an online portal that requires students to sign-in.