Candidates consider SBESS during election
Following the announcement that the School of Business and Economics Students’ Society (SBESS) wished to secede from the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union, the future of the relationship between the bodies has become a pertinent question for candidates vying for WLUSU president.
Sam Lambert, a business student and one of the presidential candidates, has positioned in his campaign that he wishes to mend the relationship between the Students’ Union and SBESS.
“One of the focuses of my platform is to try and sort out the agreement and relationship between the Students’ Union and the SBESS. I have strong relations with the incoming SBESS president, Evan Little, so I’m hopeful an agreement can be made.”
Lambert is not affiliated with SBESS at all. However, he is a strong member of the SBE community and is the head TA for BU 111 and 121. He is also roommates with the current president of SBESS, Brandon Van Dam, although he made clear that SBESS is not endorsing or supporting his campaign.
“The SBESS is not a part of my campaign. Van Dam is a part of my campaign team, but that is a personal choice. The SBESS is not endorsing any of the candidates’ campaigns.”
It is illegal under election policies for Van Dam to support a candidate as a member of SBESS.
“I’m supporting Sam on a personal level. I wouldn’t be supporting him if I didn’t believe in him. I think he would make a good candidate based upon his past experience,” he said.
Van Dam also added that Lambert is the only candidate that has reached out to him to discuss current affairs between WLUSU and SBESS.
“Sam is in touch with SBE students, being one himself, but at the same time, he has made it clear he wants to work with us and not to separate from the Students’ Union,” said Van Dam.
Lambert is considering communication issues between the parties in his evaluation of how to move the relationship forward.
“A lot of the inefficiencies between both parties have arisen from things being said twice. I think moving forward would require a strong sense of communication between both sides.”
Lambert would like to see the hiring of the VP of external affairs as a joint effort by the Students’ Union and SBESS, so that the person would sit on the sides of both parties and improve the communication between them.
Chandler Jolliffe, another presidential candidate, also touched on SBESS-related issues in his platform.
“It comes down to a political issue. The SBESS have demographic elections and want to make their own decisions. While I can see their frustrations, I don’t see them seceding from the Students’ Union as being better for students,” said Jolliffe.
Comparing his campaign to Lambert’s, Jolliffe is approaching the situation in a much different way.
“I’m not going to lay out any specific plans…. Me laying out a certain mandate is exactly what the SBESS is against, so I’m open to work with them to see what the Students’ Union can do to help them throughout the year,” he said.
“I hope to find a compromise and I am open to many options in order to do such.”
Looking overall at the candidates, Van Dam assured that whoever is elected president, the SBESS will work together with them moving forward.
“It’s important that all the candidates need to think about key campus partners, like the SBESS, that if we are not thought about, it would cause problems moving forward.”