Students’ Representative Council Elections: Make your vote count

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Voting for the 2013-2014 Students’ Representative Council (SRC) is fast approaching and the candidates are gearing up to begin campaigning after the March break.

Now that the nominations have closed (they ran from Feb. 21 to 27), SRC hopefuls are able to begin their campaigns to draw in voters, provided they are in good academic standing and eligible to run for SRC. Candidates are allowed to campaign using social media, flyers, banners, posters, t-shirts, pins and other promotional material between March 11 and March 15. However, they’re not permitted to give gifts or treats to encourage people to vote for them.

Tim Barton, UNBSJ’s Chief Returning Officer (CRO), is responsible for over-seeing the election and interpreting and enforcing the rules and regulations to ensure fairness to all candidates. Barton is hopeful that the election will have a good voter turnout, compared to previous years, “I do predict voter turnout to be up this year compared to last year as positions will be competed for, which usually increases voter turnout compared to that of a Yes/No vote,” he says.

Barton stresses the importance of student input in electing the SRC, “I think the SRC is very important to the university,” he says, “I do believe that the student body needs to be more involved and get to know the candidates to make informed voting decisions, as this clearly has been an issue with past elections.”

UNBSJ holds two elections every year. A bi-election is held in the fall term and the SRC election is held at the end of every school year to elect the SRC for the following year. The SRC election taking place in mid-March will determine the executive positions for the 2013-2014 school year. Vice president (VP) external, VP student affairs and president, as well as councillor positions (business, arts, science, first year, social, athletics, international, and mature students representatives) and member at large positions will be determined by student votes. Social, finance, residence and media representative positions are also appointed at this time.

Brad Trecartin, the current SRC president, says it’s very important that students vote for their student council. “We represent the students and every student is paying an SRC fee, so it’s important that [students] are electing people who are speaking on their behalf,” he says.

Trecartin says whoever is elected should love what they do, “Your heart has got to be in it and you really have to care,” he says. “You can’t come into this position to build your resume up or have an office or have a good time, you’ve really got to have a passion for what the SRC is here to do, and really work for students.”

Voting will open to students on March 18 at 9 a.m. and close on March 22 at 5 p.m. Students can vote through e-services under the “voting” tab.