Serena Anagbe / Photo Editor
Students at an election booth in One Market on the Brantford campus
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Feb. 6 to include the election results.
The Wilfrid Laurier University’s Students’ Union prepares for elections to vote on the new president and board of directors for the 2024-25 period.
The election will take place on Feb. 1 at Wilf’s Restaurant in Waterloo following campaigning from Jan. 22 to Jan. 30. Candidates attended both the Waterloo and Brantford campus to campaign at events, such as bingo night at Hudson Public in Branford. All candidates presented their platform and expressed their interest in the Laurier community and how they can improve the campus atmosphere.
Sebastien Corrie, a fourth-year criminology student, worked on the Students’ Union board of directors for the 2023-24 term. He is the first Brantford student to run for president in five years. He said his platform composed of sectors such as student engagement; advocacy and outreach; equity, diversity and inclusion; Greek life and accessible support and services.
“I really want to work and make sure every student has access to the services needed to ensure student experience is positive,” said Corrie. “My hope is that no matter who wins, the [elected] president won’t be afraid to incorporate ideas from the other candidates’ platforms to make the most of their time in the role.”
Josh Aube is a fourth-year kinesiology student who worked for the Students’ Union’s programming and services team on the Waterloo campus during the 2023-24 term. His campaign focused on programming for homecoming; sustainability on campus; equity, diversity and inclusion and student support.
“I wanted to run because I think the president is in a unique position where they can make a real change to help bring that sense of community back to Laurier,” said Aube, referring to the decreased sense of community since the pandemic in 2020.
Aube said a large portion of his campaign was focused around student protection on campus.
“I’m really hoping to make sure student rights are protected no matter where they come from,” he said.
Ben Jesseau is a fourth-year strategic management student at the Waterloo campus who worked as the assistant vice-president of the athletics department for the 2023-24 term. He focused his platform mainly on three sections. His pillars centred on student experiences, building a stronger community and supporting student leadership. He explained that a big campaign goal was the Student Experience Fund.
“[The Student Experience Fund] goal is to provide funding to student who may not otherwise be able to engage in student life and engagement due to funding reasons,” said Jesseau.
He said his goal as president, if elected, is to limit the divide between the Brantford and Waterloo campuses to create a single, positive community.
“I tried to focus my platform on a multiple-campus level to create a bigger community and benefit both campuses,” said Jesseau. “Having strong voices from the Brantford campus is a big plan to help that.”
Vishesh Vipin Verma is a fourth-year physics student who has studied under both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses. He explained that the main pillars of his platform came down to financial literacy; equity, diversity and inclusion and mental/physical health. His background as an international student from India gives him a personal outlook to some of the goals he wishes to achieve if elected.
“Finances become a burden to students, and I feel no student should have to worry about finances and if they can get groceries,” said Verma. “I want to run programs to teach people to manage their money better to ensure they aren’t worried about finances.”
The elected president will fulfill the full-time, 40-hour-a-week position for a one-year term. This is from May 1 following the election until April 30, 2025. The Students’ Union is a not-for-profit organization that works in official standing with Laurier.
Update: On Feb. 1, 2024 at 9 p.m., Ben Jesseau was announced as the elected Laurier Students’ Union President for the 2024-25 term after three rounds of voting. Along with the presidential seat, 12 new board of directors were elected.