|The new face of URSU|
by Darcie Keith
Profiling the 2006-2007 executive
Next year’s University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) was elected last week, and the new executive has been declared.
Voter turnout was up by 324 votes from last year, at 1,957. Approximately 20 per cent of the student population voted.
The Carillon caught up with the new executive to talk about their wins, and plans for next year.
The Carillon: What things will you change about how URSU has been previously run? What things will you keep?
Amanda Smytaniuk (AS): I feel there is room for improvement with the working relationships of URSU, the individual student societies, GBLUR, the Women’s Centre, and FNUC. Creating a relationship based on solidarity is one of my main focuses for the upcoming year.
Mike Burton (MB): I would like URSU to be more accountable to students and to that end I will be posting all non-sensitive financial documents on our website.
Devon Floyd (DF): I would like to promote the V-team, and also continue on the path of environmental sustainability that Shawn Fraser has boldly endeavoured upon.
Kathleen Wilson (KW): As far as external affairs, Hillary [Aitken] did an amazing job and I really want to focus on pushing that momentum forward.
TC: Without referring to your platform, why do you think the student body elected you for your position?
Mike Burton: I think that students saw my experience and the effort that I put into the Campion College Students’ Union and URSU in the past and decided I was qualified. I also believe that students saw my hard work during the campaign and realized that I would work hard for them.
DF: That’s a tough one. I really have no idea. Maybe because people liked what they read on my posters, or because I pestered so many people in the hallways to vote for me.
TC: A student walks into your office, stating that URSU is a pointless organization and that they don’t do anything for students. What would you do?
AS: The fact that a student is willing to approach a member of the executive with their concerns should be celebrated because it is an opportunity for the students’ union to receive direct input from the student body. I would use this opportunity to inform various boards and forums – both internally and externally – to create, maintain, and enhance student services on campus, organizing student events, which will be used to ultimately strive to enrich student life both academically and socially.
KW: I would inform them about my job and the great things we are fighting for. I would then send them to Devon, Mike and Amanda to learn more about the student services provided and how student fees are being spent. URSU is here for you. If you have questions, make sure you ask. TC: Name the three biggest issues you plan on working with and getting students involved.
AS: I intend to strive to make this campus one that is environmentally progressive, socially conscious, and committed to creating and enhancing a sense of community on campus.
MB: The three biggest issues to me are encouraging students to get involved in clubs and student societies by increasing the funding to both groups and encouraging the creation of more clubs. Second, I would like student clubs and societies [to] utilize the Owl more as a location for their events. Finally, increase understanding of what URSU does by being as open and accountable as possible.
DF: Promote environmental sustainability, provide information on the importance of environmental sustainability on campus [and] create a carpool board for students to use. Enhance student services: free coffee and food during exams [and] use the used bookstore to help students find their textbooks online. Create a community on campus that will tackle different social issues, give more funding to clubs and societies, and help them work together to create a stronger collective voice on campus.
KW: I want to push the student movement on campus and get more students involved. I want to work to get more students involved in campaigns on campus that raise awareness of issues that affect students. I also want to continue promoting volunteerism on campus and getting students involved. I think the V-team is fabulous and I want to make sure it continues to grow.