URSU presidential roundtable
Our interview with your presidential candidates
The Carillon sat down with URSU Presidential candidates Devon Peters and Daniella Zemlak, here’s what they had to say. Voting in the University of Regina Students’ Union elections will take place from March 16-19 on UR Self-Service. Go vote! Also, make sure to read out interview with the Vice President, External Affairs candidates
Derek Cameron: What is your big issue for the year?
Daniella Zemlak: Student engagement. What needs to change is how URSU interacts with students and how students interact with each other. My goal is to not only create a connection between the students and the student union, but also between students and student societies.
Devon Peters: I am approaching the same problem from a different perspective. The organization needs to be built up; it needs to be stronger. I have been doing that the past year. The way this ties into student engagement because you have better role models, more funding, more opportunities for events. We improve all facets of student life by improving the students’ union.
DC: What are concrete examples of this you hope to achieve?
DZ: For myself, it’s extending the hours for services on campus. The university is very open to discussing that. For student engagement, it’s creating better relationships with student groups and creating a better PAC. The view now is that it’s not an authentic place for discussion.
DP: My goal is to maintain a surplus and to take that and start to spend it in ways to improve student life. Establishing funding for the international student societies and increasing funding for other societies. I also want to restore the place of advocacy we haven’t put resources into. Daniella and I go around and advocate on what we feel students want on an ad hoc basis right now and that needs to change. Let’s get ad campaigns going.
DC: How do you plan to interact with other levels of government?
DP: The union inherently has a role to interact with all levels of government at the university and all levels of government. The plan is to continue building relationships and build relationships with the [legislature].
DZ: URSU can take steps to explain what committees are there for. As we present the board to students, we need to explain the advocacy role and that they have a chance to advocate at various levels of government and I think that will get students excited about their role.
DC: Why do you feel you are best for the position?
DZ: When I ran last year, I ran unopposed and I ran because my friends said I would be good at it. This year, I have gone 180 and become super involved and passionate. I am also a connector; we have a campus of 13,000. I can unify the student body. I want to empower student leaders the way I was last year. I can help the network in a way that affects their lives.
DP: I have experience. I have been involved with non-profits since I was 18, managing $100,000 budgets. This is the biggest one. I have done hundreds of hours of training; I have experience with contracts, HR, Robert’s Rules of Order. I am also in it for the long-haul. The success of the organization is through strong year over year management. You need to train staff so that the organization continues to develop, and I can do that.