Students’ Representative Council (SRC) elections are fast approaching and the campus is gearing up for a whole new SRC.
Nominations officially open on Feb. 21 and end Feb. 27. Anyone interested in a position on the SRC must be nominated and seconded, they then must gather support from students to prove that they are worthy of the position. Once nominations close, the Chief Returning Officer (CRO), Tim Barton, will ensure that candidates are in good academic standing and are otherwise eligible to run. Campaigning will begin after March break, for one week, followed by a week of voting.
Elected executive positions, including vice president (VP) external, VP student affairs and president, as well as councillors positions (business, arts, science, first year, social, athletics, international and mature representatives) and member at large positions are open for nomination. Social, finance, residence and media representative positions are appointed at this time. “We want to make sure we get a voice and opinions from people that represent all students on campus,” says SRC president, Brad Trecartin.
Trecartin does not plan on running for SRC next year because he’s graduating but he has been involved in student politics during his entire career at UNBSJ. He started out as a first year liaison, then he became the business representative and eventually went on to become SRC president. “UNBSJ is a great campus and we have a lot to offer students, I wanted to see what I could do and see what position I could leave the SRC in when I was done.”
Jon Cogger, UNBSJ’s arts representative, plans on running for Trecartin’s position. Cogger is seeking a position in student government to address certain issues that affect students. “There has been a lack of initiative in the struggle against the rising price of tuition and I believe the SRC and future ones should address this,” he says. “It is important that the SRC help students find their voice, for too long we have been under-represented and at times neglected.”
According to Trecartin, there have been a number of times in the past few years that positions have gone uncontested or have simply not been filled at all. “We want everyone to know there are lots of different positions, of all commitment levels,” he says. “We want to bring as many people into the process as possible and find the best people to sit on council.”
The SRC represents students and is responsible for a $350,000 budget, which students pay into with a $70 fee per term. “It’s important that if students are paying that money that they are electing people who are speaking on their behalf,” says Trecartin. Trecartin says he is disappointed with the voter turnout in recent years and he would like to see students have more of a say in how their money is spent. “People don’t realize how much of a role we play on campus and people need to get out and vote.”
The SRC was able to accomplish a number of things this year, such as improved communication with students. They were able to acquire new sandwich boards, a new website, a new logo and they were finally able to set up a mass e-mail service to students. There were also changes made to the Thomas J. Condon student centre, new study lounges were set up and efforts have been made to make the Whitebone lounge and the cafeteria more appealing to students, such as couches and televisions. “Though it may be difficult to please all the students, all the time, we try our best to meet your expectation of us,” says Cogger.
The election will be held in mid-March, with voting open from March 18 to March 22.