If you’re going to run, do it right
This March, the machine that is student politics will move along at its customary pace with the beginning of election season.
Here are the details: the nomination period has already begun, and the packages (available from the URSU front desk) are due back at 4 p.m., Feb. 26. So, if you’re a budding politician, you have one more day to secure enough signatures to find yourself on the ballot (ten for executive, senate, and council, or five for the board of directors). The package, available as a handy PDF for those of us who are tech-savvy, also outlines each of the procedures for the election period.
Right, so you’ve submitted your nomination materials, included a 250-word bio that your student newspaper can quote liberally, and a photo, but what next?
Well, the next step is to sharpen up your pitch – if you really want to sound fancy and educated, you can call it a platform – and ready yourself for the All Candidates Meeting on Feb. 26 in the URSU boardroom. Confused? Well, there will also be a meeting two days earlier to iron out any questions the candidates may have. Having successfully converted students to your cause, you can then begin clogging the Riddell Centre Hallway, or rather, you can commence campaigning.
A few things to keep in mind here: don’t spend over and above your $200 limit, don’t undermine other people’s campaigns by moving or damaging their materials, and don’t hang a giant beard from the second level of Riddell. That’s departing president Devon Peters’ thing, so don’t steal his majesty’s bearded thunder.
Once the two-week campaigning period has ended, it will be time to log into UR Courses and cast your vote. Unlike previous years, students can now only vote for those candidates who are part of their own constituency. Or, as the URSU website says:
“PLEASE NOTE: URSU has changed the election by-laws so that instead of every student voting for every position (which is how it worked in past years) now students will only be able to vote for positions in the constituencies that apply to them. All students will still have the chance to vote for executive positions, and a few other general positions.”
Who, you may ask, is in control of the process? That would be Alexandra Mortenson. This year’s chief returning officer (CRO) was previously involved in student politics, which was part of the reason she decided to get involved this semester.
“I thought it would be really interesting,” said Mortenson, “because I have a lot of experiences with non-profits like the Regina Folk Festival and l’Association Jeunesse Fransaskoise, and the University of Regina Students’ Union, so I had the experience with policy documents, and with these organizations. I really enjoyed my time on the board of directors, and so I wanted to be involved a little bit more in my last semester.”
It is now her task to oversee this set of elections, which are certain to be full of fresh faces. With Peters leaving office at the end of the school year, the main topics of discussion for candidates will be the transition towards the U-Pass, the shift between governmental styles, and all of the organizing that goes into making a (hopefully) successful changeover.