It’s that time again: get to know your USSU candidates, and why you should vote for them

UPDATE 29/3/12: The election is over and next year’s USSU executive has been decided.

Once again, students are being invited to take an interest in campus politics and vote on next year’s University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union. Voting will open on Wednesday, March 28 and remain open until March 29 at 4 p.m.

This is the first year that the USSU is also running elections for all college representatives on University Students’ Council. In addition to voting for each of the four executive positions and the student representatives on University Senate, students will be able to vote for their USC representative on PAWS next week.

Unlike many previous years, almost all of the executive positions are contested: there are three people running for president, and the only position that is uncontested is vice-president student affairs, for which Alex Werenka is running. To acquaint readers with each candidate, the Sheaf asked all eight of the people running this year to explain why students should vote for them. The following list is in alphabetical order.

For an even closer in-depth look at each candidates platform, be sure to come to the USSU candidates’ this Thursday at Louis (4:00pm), moderated by the Sheaf.

Videos of each candidate can be found on YouTube, courtesy of the USSU.

[toggle hide="yes" border="yes" style="white" title_closed="View the Sheaf's USSU quiz" title_open="Close quiz"]The Sheaf’s USSU quiz[/toggle]

President

Jared Brown is a 4th Year Sociology student.


Jared Brown

[box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"]Quiz score: 74% (14/19)[/box]

I am running for USSU President because I believe I bring a much-needed social lens to the operations of the USSU. I have paid a lot of attention to the social undertakings that the USSU has embraced over the past year and I have always felt there has been a lot more that could be done to encourage students, promote safety and utilize creative initiatives to help with student’s everyday life. I recognize there are absent qualities in the USSU and I think I can help shape the organization in becoming one of the top student run organizations in the country. If we have a very strong union for students to get involved with we can provide the means for individuals to take initiative and develop themselves into strong capable leaders for our society.

David Konkin is a 3rd year Political Studies student.


David Konkin

[box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"]Quiz score: 68% (13/19)[/box]

As a member of student council, I’ve had the opportunity to engage on a multitude of student issues and found a deep passion for them. Student governance really can be effective and I want to use my abilities to ensure that it is. There is a need for a strong student voice on issues such as housing, tuition, transit and many more and I believe that I can provide that leadership. Much of the President’s role deals with relationships, primarily with the province, the city and the university. We need to articulate student needs and concerns to these actors in a constructive way so that we can work with them to solve these issues. In short, I am running to be your USSU President because I believe in my ability to bring positive change for students.

Trevor Paschke is a 5th year Engineering student.


Trevor Paschke

[box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"]Quiz score: 66% (12.5/19)[/box]

I want to help the USSU support student groups. Through my experience as this year’s Engineering Students’ Society president I have gained insight into the operations of the USSU and experience that is applicable to the president position. This experience includes working with the Dean’s office, report writing, meeting decorum and public speaking. Most importantly to me, I have had conversations with students that feel disengaged from the USSU. I want the opportunity to increase awareness of efforts by the USSU by utilizing my network on campus and expand my network to include representatives from as many student groups as possible. 

Additionally, my network of students from different universities in Canada is extensive. It will be easy to collaborate with students to obtain information about best practices other universities follow to achieve success. If there is a new service proposed, I can reach out to my friends and see if something similar has been tried, and whether it is feasible. Most importantly, I recognize that I do not know everything but I know someone who does. I may not be representative of every student on this campus but I know someone who is.

VP Operations & Finance

Steven Heidel is a 3rd year Honours Computer Science student.


Steven Heidel

[box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"]Quiz score: 84% (16/19)[/box]

I am running because I have both a passion for improving the USSU and the experience to back it up. As a member of the Budget and Finance Committee, I was able to see first-hand how student fees were being spent and I came up with ways that this could be improved. I believe in the principle of doing “more with less” and want to bring this idea to the USSU. Certain areas of the organization could perform more efficiently, such as Browsers and the centres. Other areas, such as campus groups, deserve more funding and attention because that money goes directly back to the students. Overall I am running on three issues: fiscal restraint, improved communication and campus groups. I have thoroughly researched all the items of my platform and have the leadership skills necessary to actually get them implemented. Vote for me because I am confident that I can actually make a change to the USSU.

Jenna Moellenbeck is a 3rd year Human Resources student.


Jenna Moellenbeck

[box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"]Quiz score: 74% (14/19)[/box]

I am a member of University Students’ Council for Edwards School of Business and I feel I am more than qualified for VP Operations and Finance. This year I have been quite involved with the USSU: I’m a member of students’ council, I sit on the academics and the budget and finance committee, and I also volunteer at the Help Centre. I want to take my dedication to the USSU to the next level by running for an executive position. As an executive member I want to increase student engagement and create a more memorable university experience. One way I would accomplish this is by increasing student engagement and encouraging all students to join a campus club or even start their own. Most importantly, I want to be accessible to students. This can be done by improving the comment couch implemented by this year’s executive and having more of a presence on campus. I will be accountable to the students and hopefully enhance their time at the University of Saskatchewan.

VP Academic

Ruvimbo Kanyemba is a 5th year student of Psychology & Crime, Law and Justice Studies.


Ruvimbo Kanyemba

[box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"]Quiz score: 42% (8/19)[/box]

For the past five years I have worked with and represented students as a Resident Assistant, Resident Advisor and USSU Student Crew/Safewalk Coordinator. I am looking forward to putting the wealth of experience and knowledge I have gained to represent you with the university. It is very important that executive members are aware of what the USSU can and cannot do, as time and resources could be wasted on pursuing goals that cannot be attained. That being said, I look forward to:

  1. Giving students a voice in academic issues through the various committees I will be sitting on.
  2. Creating a USSU experiential learning program for undergraduate students. Resources are in place for this.
  3. Promoting awareness of various policies that affect students’ and instructors’ academic experience. Many students are not aware of these.
  4. Advising the university about necessary changes to academic advising (something students are concerned about).

Marylou Mintram is a 1st Year Arts & Science student.


Marylou Mintram

[box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"]Quiz score: 58% (11/19)[/box]

I will be committed to ensuring that students will be heard and do diligence on seeking all information pertaining to your concerns. Being an informed liaising between the Student Union and other learning institutions.

What I would really like to do is work for students to ensure that this superb university will provide the best academic experience possible, in hopes that students are supported in achieving their current aspirations. By supporting students in any appeals they may have, and staying up-to-date on provincial and community events, I guarantee to students that I would maximize my potential in creating a learning experience where you get the most benefit.

I believe the U of S holds a key that will unlock the gateway of dreams, and I would like to enhance this by implementing new or assessing existing ideas such as:

  • Coordinating regular networking events
  • Developing a mentorship program
  • Reviewing copyright laws
  • Making online textbooks feasible option
  • Trying to find a way to decrease the cost of textbooks
  • Reassessing the Evaluations
  • Workshops on obtaining research funds
  • Providing support to campus groups
  • The U of S offers possibilities for learning and growth that are simply unparalleled. Together let’s unlock the potential and maximize what this institution has to offer.

VP Student Affairs

Alex Werenka is a 5th Year Arts & Science student.


Alex Werenka

[box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"]Quiz score: 66% (12.5/19)[/box]

I am running because I believe that this is an effective way to create social change. This position covers all non-academic issues and though I find academics interesting I am far more interested in the affairs of students.

I have several ideas of what and where to take this position, but I would love to find out what students want and make it a more involved and community-based process.


Photos: Raisa Pezderic/The Sheaf

  • John Farrell

    Is Steven Heidel’s collar half popped? That is a very bad sign.

    • http://stevenheidel.me Steven Heidel

      LOL that side sometimes goes a little out of control. Still some very good photography by the Sheaf though.

  • Luke Seabrook

    Uh oh, a popped collar and running against a commerce student for finance. You’ve got an uphill battle ahead.

    • http://stevenheidel.me Steven Heidel

      I keep it down most of the time.

  • Guest

    Totally support Heidel and Werenka so far. I absolutely love Werenka’s concept for community involvement. Community engagement is a powerful thing! Also, Heidel seems like smart, awesome dude. I’ve read some of the comments he’s made on articles recently, and I’ve really appreciated his insight.

    • http://stevenheidel.me Steven Heidel

      Thank you very much! This is what keeps me going.

      If you want to be extra supportive, here’s my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/193583234085039/
      and I’m sure Alex would appreciate a comment as well in her group:
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/193583234085039/

    • The 99%

      Steven, this is the sheaf’s comment section of their website, not your facebook fan page. Lay off the comments, already.

    • Fiona

      Where were any of her concepts when she wrote her platform for the Sheaf? She demonstrates only a basic understanding of the position. Werenka wrote “I am far more interested in the affairs of students.” as compared to academic. One would hope so if she is applying for the position of VP Student Affairs. The lack of any content tells me the Werenka feels she doesn’t need to put too much effort in because the position is uncontested. Will she bother to put any effort in if she gets the position?

    • discordany

      Again speaking as someone who has seen Werenka in a work environment; yes, yes she will. She’s amazing at what she does.

    • Alex.

      They only put half of what I wrote in the Sheaf. There was far more. But some things that I’m hoping to do:
      -Ombudsperson (They help ensure a fair and equal campus and act as a conflict resolver)
      -Babysitting registry
      -lobbying for more childcare spaces and for the spaces to be allocated based on need (There is currently a need for 800 spaces, we’re currently filling ~110), i.e. more given to students rather than faculty
      -ensure that those in need of the Emergency Assistance Fund are able to qualify for it.
      -Work on getting plate or eco-shell policy implemented on campus to reduce waste.

  • guest

    KONkIn 2012

  • Randy Tome

    I respect that Ruvimbo has gone out and researched the position. She seems to be aware of what she’s headed into (you can also tell by her platform). Her passion in her video, and years of experience with students, the USSU and the university make her very deserving of the position. She has my vote. …….besides, she’s cute and has a rocking body…

    • Pick me a winner

      Yeah, she researched the position, and was the only candidate to fail the quiz.
      Yipes.

    • discordany

      Speaking as someone who knows Ruvimbo, the fact that she failed the quiz is VERY surprising and should not effect your opinions on whether she would be right for the position she’s running for. She puts 150% into everything she does (which is so much that you have to wonder if she ever gets a chance to sleep), is well organized and motivated, and would make a wonderful VP Academic Affairs.

    • Blair

      I’m assuming she didn’t put 150% into the quiz or thats pretty sad.

    • Fiona

      How well would you have done? I agree with discordany, this does not reflect how well qualified Ru is for this position.

    • Blair

      12/19 and I didn’t give 150%.

    • Guest

      If you think that quiz has any bearing on her qualification for the job, you don’t understand what the job entails (and should look into it). Her experience in working with the university is not through memorizing history and knowing who the university big-shots names are. If her job is to ever call for that, she would learn it once in office. Besides, I’m willing to bet that the current execs. wouldn’t know many of these answers either. She is qualified all round for the position. Period.

    • guest

      yeah, that quiz is not a reflection of her potential though. Neither is it a reflection of what she’s expected to do. I’m pretty confident that she is fully qualified for the position. Her involvement and experience speaks for itself. Being someone who’s worked with her for a couple of years now, I wouldn’t trust the position with anyone else at this point. Go Ru!

  • The 99.9%

    Steven’s chin depth to overall facial height is simply unbearable

    • jas164

      You’re a horrible person.

  • My sweater says OREGON.

    Jared Brown is the most interesting and insightful person I have met at my time at the U of S. His personal concepts and ideas on the current governmental system, has changed my views, due to his deep understanding of Canadian politics. Vote Brown!

  • NotANewb

    Jared Brown has some amazing ideas on how to improve the lives of students at U of S – not just engineering students or arts students, but he has plans for every student body on campus. He continually has active thoughts on how to make improvements. I think he has the passion and motivation to make the University experience better for all students!

    • Guest

      Jared Brown knows shit all. Guy is lacking substance.

    • Anti Guest

      What does it matter. So few people have an idea about the inner workings of the USSU, let alone the workings of the Universitys’ tricameral system, and the Prov government. You honestly expect that to have a substantial change? or maybe just run an event you might attend and bitch about?

    • AhhSinkhole

      Got any links to him making statements of substance? All I’m hearing so far is vague vague vague..

  • discordany

    Absolutely supporting Alex and Ruvimbo right now. Good luck ladies!
    As for the other positions, I’m still undecided.

  • kony666

    “do diligence”