Editorial: One UMSU copied One Carleton’s campaign

The One Carleton slate swept this year’s Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) election, winning all executive positions for the 2017-18 year in an election that saw the highest voter turnout in CUSA history.

The University of Manitoba Students’ Union election also just held their election earlier this month, and oddly enough, the similarly-named “One UMSU” slate swept all executive positions in an election that saw the “largest voter turnout in recent memory,” according to the school’s student newspaper, The Manitoban.

The similarly-named campaigns are apparently no coincidence, as members of One UMSU reached out to One Carleton to ask them permission to use some of their ideas, according to current CUSA president Fahd Alhattab.

It’s odd that university student union election slates would share similar campaign “brands” between one another, and even borrow some of the same platform points, including the promise of bringing in “nap pods” to the universities.

It might seem insincere if University of Manitoba students were to find out that their student union executives had intentionally run under the same “brand” as another school, rather than having created their own.

Ultimately, election slates should have their own vision. Creating a campaign that a slate at another university has already used might suggest that One UMSU could not come up with their own unique way of presenting the campaign to students. It also creates a manufactured formula for student politics, thus making it more about marketing, and less about the issues.