For the first time in three years, there is only one slate running in the UMSU elections. Heather Laube, current vice-president student services, is running for UMSU president uncontested.
It is unclear why no other slates came forward to run.
According to Jason van Rooy, Chief Returning Officer, he had a number of other people approach him for packages to run for UMSU executive, but none of them came through. He said no one approached him with any problems or asked for an extension.
“Had they shown up late, they would have still been able to run, because the slate that’s running would love to have someone run against them, because it makes it more interesting and fun. But they would have likely not been able to start campaigning until a day in,” Van Rooy said.
Laube said she was unsure as to why no one else chose to run.
“Everyone is given equal opportunity to run in the election. I wouldn’t want to speak on behalf of the others that didn’t apply,” she said.
She continued, “I think it definitely changes the tactics around different things involving the election, but the main goal of talking to students, seeing what they want from an elective representative, that’s the main purpose. We’re doing this for the students.”
Sid Rashid, current UMSU president said, “I have no idea [why no one else is running]. You have fluctuations. Some years you have two or three slates running. You hope that students want to get involved and run and you do see a lot of competition for some of the community positions. It’s surprising to see only one slate.”
Van Rooy said, “[The candidates] have to work harder because human beings [ . . . ] have an inherent ability to just say no on instinct to anything. [ . . . ] You have to convince people to vote yes.”
Some students may choose to be apathetic about voting in the election, since only one slate is running.
Marcus Dyck, a second year Kinesology student said, “Myself and some others plan to choose the ‘no’ option on every check-off.”
However, Kailey Protulipac, a third-year arts student said, “I think that it’s very important for students to vote even though there is only one party running. [ . . . ] If students don’t like the party running [ . . . ] they should vote no, so that we and the party knows how many might, if they had the opportunity, vote for someone else.”
Eldon Wiebe, another third-year arts student said, “If this campus union is to be a democratic representation of the entire student body, I think it’s important for students to voice their opinions about UMSU — whether they approve or disapprove.”
The bylaws of the election outline what would happen in the event that the majority of students vote “no.”
Van Rooy said, “If the president position is vacant, a vice president is appointed by council and a by-election will be held in accordance with the bylaws. [ . . . ] If the entire executive remains vacant, council will appoint an interim president and a by-election is held. If a community rep position remains vacant, then council will reopen nominations in October and seek candidates for appointment by council.”
Regardless, Laube assures that the election is still a democratic procedure.
“Ultimately the democratic process is going to be fulfilled either if it’s contested or not, and I guess a ‘no’ vote is still a democratic process.”
Commenting has been disabled for this article due to abuse. Please send us a letter to the editor to have your perspectives on this article heard.