2018 Students’ Union election season kicks off at All Candidates Meeting

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Photo by Luke Sarazin

 

The 2018 Students’ Union election season has officially begun.

On Monday Jan. 15, 2017, the All-Candidates meeting took place on both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses. Candidates running for Students’ Union President and CEO, board of directors, senate and board of governors were present at the meeting.

Campaigning for all positions officially began 30 minutes after the completion of the meeting.

This year, there are four presidential candidates. Two of whom went to school at the Branford campus.

The presidential candidates are Tarique Plummer, Idris Omar Hassan, Ryley Fletcher and Ali Saghari.

Fletcher, as a candidate from Brantford, said he hopes students will recognize that he is a candidate representing all students — not just those from Brantford.

“A candidate for the Students’ Union elections is a representative of all students … I think to me it’s important to remember that I’m a Laurier student who went to school in Brantford rather than a candidate that’s running from Brantford,” Fletcher said.

In addition, there are only two candidates running for board of directors that are from the Brantford campus.

Campaigning will take place over the next few weeks and will end at 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 30, 30 minutes prior to when the voting polls open.

There is also one Brantford candidate running for senate and no Brantford candidates running for board of governors.

This year, there are also fewer females running. Only two women are running for board of directors.

With four candidates for president in the running this year, in comparison to only one sole candidate who ran last year, all four individuals are hopeful that this will increase voter turnout.

Last year, 22 per cent of the Laurier student body voted during the election season.

“Due to the number of candidates running for president, I feel like we will have more voters. Each candidate and his team would be reaching out more students and promoting their campaign, and I believe this competition would bring more student’s attention to vote and take part in this years’ election,” Hassan said.

In addition, all four candidates bring a diverse background from Laurier. For example, Fletcher and Hassan are from the Brantford campus, Saghari is currently president of the Arts Undergraduate Society and Plummer is currently a member of the board as Chair and CGO.

“I think this year the candidates are way more diverse in the disciplines they are … we all have different groups that are hopefully going to attract to vote and engage, so hopefully a little more,” Saghari said.

For Plummer, he feels confident going into the campaign season since the board has addressed and dealt with the many concerns brought forth regarding the chair of the board seeking the position of president.

“We have achieved that separation of chair and elections portfolio, so there’s no integrity related issues that we’re having, and for that I’m truly grateful,” Plummer said.

“I’ve completely divested myself off that portfolio and the board fully understands that and we have that clear expectation of how I’m going to proceed.”

As chair of the board, however, Plummer said he intends on being cautious about what he addresses and talks about throughout the campaign period.

“I’m still cognizant of my responsibility as chair and I’m going to be very cautious about the things I do address and do state. I am going to be very transparent about that,” Plummer said.

Campaigning will take place over the next few weeks and will end at 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 30, 30 minutes prior to when the voting polls open.

Voting will then take place on Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. The results will be announced at Wilf’s on the night of Feb. 1.

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