On Jan. 12, candidates for the 2017 Wilfrid Laurier Students’ Union (WLUSU) elections met in the Research and Academic Centre to inform voters about their respective platforms and answer questions regarding their stances on hot topics.
Students from both Waterloo and Brantford campuses are running for the board of directors as well as the board of governors and the senate this year.
The Students’ Union website states, “The president and CEO oversees all operations of the Laurier Students’ Union as well as regularly works with key university and community personnel to advocate on behalf of all undergraduate students.”
The board of directors oversees the president and makes sure that they are acting in a manner that advocates on behalf of the students. In addition, the Board of Governors, “oversees the property and revenues of the university and conducts their business and affairs.” The Senate makes recommendations to the board of directors.
“The professional development and the personal growth that the Students’ Union offers me —it’s not like I feel the need to give back, I feel obligated to,” said Michael Del Bono, a third-year criminology student and board of directors candidate.
Kanwar Brar is a fourth-year political science student and the sole candidate running for president this year.
“My initiatives are focused around five pillars; Student Experience, Advocacy, Communication, Transparency and Representation,” Brar states in his online platform.
Similar platforms of advocacy and communication were prevalent throughout the information session.
As part of the information session, candidates had a chance to ask questions and give input of the referendum question this year. The referendum question refers to whether or not a $3.50 fee should be charged to each student once per year to contribute to a provincial student advocacy fund. The fee could also help offset the cost of Ontario post secondary education (ONpse).
“This is not a referendum on membership. Either way we will still remain a member of the organization,” said Phil Marfisi, assistant vice president of university affairs in Waterloo.
When discussing some of the impacts of this provincial advocacy fund and Brantford’s new GO bus line, one student asked whether it was likely that direct transportation system would be linking both campuses in the near future.
“It’s not likely that we’re going to see a direct connection between Waterloo and Brantford specifically in terms of provincial transportation soon.”
More information about candidates and their platform statements are available on the Students’ Union website. Elections take place Jan. 24 to 26, 2017.