Report on the URSU elections
A breakdown of statistics from this years election
Article: Michael Chmielewski – Editor-in-Chief
The University of Regina Students’ Union’s (URSU) elections have come and gone for another year.
Since all four of the previous executives did not run again, U of R students will be dealing with a brand new executive.
Devon Peters won President, Luanne Drake won VP Student Affairs, Daniella Zemlak was acclaimed to VP External, and Minsoo Cho is the new VP Operations and Finance.
Peters took 796 votes to Amir Aboguddah’s and Annie Dormuth’s 475 and 391, respectively. Drake beat out Naveed Qamar 905-509, Zemlak ran unopposed, and Minsoo Cho won a close one against Robert Vancise, 741 votes to 703. The new executive moves into their offices May 1.
Out of a possible 12270 students who were eligible to vote, only 1664 did. This means that 13.6 per cent of students voted.
Furthermore, no nominations were received for many Director positions, including Aboriginal Students’, Arts, LGBTQ Students’, CFS, and seven others.
The new URSU cast are coming into their offices at a tough time. Elected officials from previous years have moved on, for better or for worse, student apathy is quite high, many students have no clue what URSU is, and the recent provincial budget potentially spells trouble for the U of R in general.
Outgoing President Nathan Sgrazzutti expressed concern that the new President has to go into the University’s Board of Governors’ meeting only seven days after taking office. This is the Board meeting that deals with potentially increasing tuition.
“URSU’s student membership needs to seriously look at their election stage,” Sgrazzutti explained, “because having a President brand new and green, especially if they don’t agree with the past President, entering the U of R Board of Governors’ meeting for budgets, the one that has to deal with tuition, seven days into their term, it’s not a successful system for us.”
Sgrazzutti emphasized that in this respect, things need to change.
“We need to look at different times for the elections; we need to look at opportunities for something. There needs to be some different way we can do this so that our President and VPs are not going to the meeting and preparing for things like that seven days into their term.”
Incoming President Devon Peters said that this obviously makes things harder for him.
“I think the timing’s definitely unfortunate, but I’ve already been working with the current executive and the GM to prepare myself for the meeting. I’m taking it very seriously.”
As to changing the dates for that the President, in some way, would have more time to prepare for this critical meeting. “It’s definitely something we’ll be talking about in the coming year, though, to ensure that students get the most out of their student’s union” Peters said.
The budget, this year, as Sgrazzutti put it, “is not what we needed.” For more information on the budget, please see pg.3, “Expect a tuition hike!” http://www.carillonregina.com/expect-a-tuition-hike/
Peters said that “in my eyes, the provincial budget was another blow to post-secondary institutions and students around the province.”
Where URSU goes from here, and the university, is going to be something to watch in the coming months.