EDITORIAL: The Yes/No Dillemma

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Election season is upon us and you may have noted that the Baron published a list of candidates running for Students’ Representative Council (SRC) and some of their responses to our questions.  You may have also noticed that there were no questions asked of the candidates seeking election for president and vice president external.

Both of these are paid, elected, executive positions in the SRC, and both have only one candidate running.  This subjects the candidates to a Yes/No vote which is undemocratic and irresponsible, especially given the amount of influence and control the positions have over the operation of the SRC.

For instance, the president will be hiring the vice president finance and the vice president social which, including the president, makes up the majority of the executive. Add in an unelected vice president external and four executive positions will have been filled without an option for students to decide from, other than “No”.

The SRC executive control the $300,000 of students money that they collect through student fees.   This essentially means that the students have been given no choice in deciding the executive team for next year, and no choice in how their money is spent.

The purpose of the Students’ Representative Council is to represent the students to the institutions that affect their lives and education.  The privilege to represent students (and the salary they collect) should not be earned from a yes/no vote, or from being hired by someone who has been “elected” through a yes/no vote.

Both of the candidates need to step down in this current election and to re-run in an open, well advertised and fair by-election with candidates opposing them. If the candidates running do not feel that they should be selected democratically from a choice of candidates, council needs to contest the results of the election and hold a fair and open hiring process for all four of the executive positions affected.

The SRC needs to start taking itself seriously, and to stop acting like a high school yearbook committee.

The candidates “running” for president and vice president external will be giving speeches and fielding questions tonight at 4:30 in the Whitebone lounge at UNB Saint John. We will be broadcasting all the speeches live and will have a recording on our YouTube channel.  Other than this, we will not support an undemocratic process, and inadvertently support candidates who do not give students a choice.