Board of director hopefuls stand up

The candidates running for the WLUSU board of directors revealed their knowledge of the position and union policies during the open forum Monday. Most of the candidates presented similar reasons in running for a position on the board. Chris Oberle, a current director running for re-election said, “I will work to increase communication between the board and students… [and] make sure that we’re advocating on issues that you feel are important.”

However, first-year candidate Scott Fleming took a more inane approach to why he is running by declaring that, “Like everyone else here that won’t admit it, I want that extra point on my resumé.”

Fourth-year student Noah Habtemichael brought up the importance of the board’s relationship with management, stating, “I think it’s forgotten that the role of the board is to hold the president accountable.”

A question on fulfilling WLUSU’s ends, posed by current board chair Kyle Hocking, tested the candidates’ knowledge of the board’s policy and procedures. First-time candidate Luke Dotto responded, “[Students] told us in the market research analysis that [their] number one priority is advocacy.”

Dotto’s vision for improving advocacy included creating more opportunities for students to contribute to the university affairs department and encourage Brantford students to volunteer with the external affairs committee (EAC).

“Students don’t know about these social interactions,” said Tom Papanastasiou, running for re-election, regarding the opportunities the union provides adhering to the third end. “I think we should provide packages in the summer to students … so that we can get them involved with WLUSU.”

Reflecting the inexperience of being a first time candidate, Flemming said, “I don’t have the ends that they have because I’m not on the board.”

A following question regarding better representation for Brantford students resulted in several candidates citing the Brantford Campus Council as a group the board should work closely with.

Running for re-election, director candidate Chris Walker shared his idea to have the president alter the method for writing monitoring reports to acknowledge and show compliance at both campuses.

Dotto expressed that he had shared his platform with the Brantford campus newspaper The Sputnik to develop more connections, however, at the time of the forum he had yet to receive a response from the publication.

An environmental sustainability petition sent to the board candidates by Laurier student Sean Campbell was discussed, revealing the general consensus of support for the initiatives listed on the condition that further research was done to ensure its goals were feasible.

When the candidates were asked who would be running for the position of board chair if elected, experienced directors Chris Oberle, Sunny Chan and Chris Walker declared they were interested.

All 18 candidates, running for a total of 15 positions, were present at the open forum.