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Next year’s URSU board and executive split between Students First & UR Diverse

Natasha Tersigni
News Editor

Last week’s University of Regina Students’ Union elections resulted in a split-slate executive and a UR Innovation majority board.

Haanim Nur and Anna Dipple from Students First were elected as president and vice-president of student affairs, respectively, while UR Innovation’s Mitchell Simpson was elected vice-president of operations and finance and his running mate, Mike Young, was elected vice-president of student affairs.

When it comes to the board, eight members were part of the UR Innovation slate, four from UR Diverse, and one independent. In every race with both a UR Innovation and UR Diverse candidate, UR Innovation won.   

Co-operation and compromise this year are going to be essential to get things done.

“It’s definitely going to have to be working with other people’s personalities and combining the two policy documents,” Nur said. “We definitely had a few different stances on certain things. We have to work out a way to amalgamate the two and work towards solutions to first do our job and our goals is to first serve the students.”

Nur admits that some of her plans she campaigned with might have to be put on hold.

“Currently, I can’t speak to what I want to do right away, because I have an executive that I have to work with,” she said.

“The things that we want to accomplish still remain the same, the things we had on our policy document: working towards actual solutions towards parking, looking into transit, develop a campaign towards to municipal election, and getting students aware of the issues surrounding the municipal government.”

Dipple agrees that URSU should be involved in the municipal government elections, similar to the campaigning that URSU did during the fall provincial election.

“I for sure want to work with the municipal elections,” she said. “I definitely want to be working with the government and lobbying for better housing for students and better transit system. This is the time to push that forward.”

Slates are something that Dipple wants to address during her time on URSU, which is ironic considering she ran on a slate. Although she ran on a slate, she is not for them.

“I think that [slates] have created a lot of problems and tensions in the past executives, and it’s been one of the reasons, especially last year, that the board mentality has been so contentious towards the executive,” Dipple said.

Despite the possibility for division and discord slates present, Simpson said that the executive-elect’s first meeting together – minus Nur, who was home sick – went well.

“At first, I guess I could say I was a bit skeptical, as Haanim and Anna were too, but after talking to them, we’re behind each other, and we discussed that.”

Simpson added that the Students First candidates’ interests in activism would balance well with UR Innovation’s focus on locally-directed initiatives, like increasing funding through the President’s Advisory Committee and updating URSU policy to more efficiently assist students.

And while the division between slates presented problems for this past year’s executive and board, Simpson believes the UR Innovation-dominated board would rather work together rather than at cross purposes.

“I know our board is behind us 100 per cent, but I also know our board is behind Haanim and Anna,” he said. “I think it’ll be a very productive year … I think there’s problems in every organization, business, any kind of walk of life. There’s always going to be an issue here, someone doesn’t agree on something here, but for the most part I think we’re all going to be able to work together this year.”

In an email to the Carillon, UR Innovation presidential candidate Nathan Sgrazzutti wrote that his slate had no plans to contest the election’s results.

“It was an idea tossed around after the results were released but no, contesting the results would only amount to a lot of kicking and screaming that could only end up ruining the last bit of URSU's credibility,” he explained. “My slate got a majority in executive/board positions and that means that they have the power to get everything done that we had planned to do. I am still a senator and will strive to be an undeniable voice for the students.”

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