URSU elections to take place March 29-30

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Will this be the year the trash fire goes out? URSU

Tait not running for reelection

The University of Regina Student Union general elections are right around the corner, with campaigning starting on Tuesday, March 15. Lists of candidates are currently up on the URSU Elections website. Incumbent URSU President Hannah Tait will not be campaigning for the presidential position again this year. Tait was elected in March 2021. Here’s hoping that, unlike March 2021, no candidates will be disqualified and the Carillon won’t find itself called out in the CRO’s report (but no promises).

The three candidates for the presidential position are Navjot Kaur, Oghenerukevwe Erifeta, and Subhan Syed. Nominations began February 23 and concluded on March 7. The students’ union will be holding a town hall about Islamophobia on March 21, followed by an all-candidates forum on March 22 at 5 p.m. The all-candidates forum is open to all students and faculty, and students who are concerned with the direction the students’ union takes should attend, ask questions, and press candidates on the issues that matter to them. Voting will take place March 29-30 online, through URSU Elections links delivered through students’ University of Regina webmail accounts. Election results will be posted March 31.

With the end to online learning occurring at the beginning of March, there is much to look forward to, including the return to on-campus learning in the spring/summer and fall semesters. While restrictions remain in place at the University of Regina, many will be lifted for the spring/summer semester. The Lazy Owl has officially opened to students for dine-in options, providing a better opportunity for on-campus food. Students who are concerned about COVID safety should bring those concerns to candidates, whose role is to advocate for students’ collective welfare.

Over the past year, URSU has undertaken several new initiatives that have been valuable contributions to the campus, and it’s hoped that the union will continue to implement new initiatives that improve the lives of students on and off campus. The community fridge got its official start-up in the fall semester, and it provides free food for anyone who wants or needs it. URSU Pantry also provides groceries for students, an important initiative given the high cost of tuition and the rising cost of food and other necessities. Hopefully there will be an expansion on the program to reach more communities.

URSU also started an advocacy program this year, providing a better opportunity for students to bring forward issues and concerns. Meetings occur through URSU Advocacy to continue to listen to concerns of international students.

Advocacy to lower tuition was also brought up for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. The ‘Freeze the Fees’ tuition rally took place February 2, when students marched from the Riddell Centre to the Administration and Humanities Building.

Typically, every URSU election, only ten per cent of the student population votes. There are many possible reasons for this, including disengagement, a lack of awareness about URSU or the election itself, and a sense that URSU doesn’t matter. But URSU is what students make of it, and the more students are engaged with their union, and the more they push the union to engage with issues that matter, the stronger the union can be.

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