Election season for the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union executive positions never fails to garner conversation — and the 2018 election is no exception. This time around, one voice is spreading its concerns across campus and buttering down one particular executive candidate.
Tub of Margarine for USSU President is the flagship Facebook page in a wave of satirical Facebook pages that express displeasure with USSU presidential candidate Coden Nikbakht. Two pages that have since appeared are Rufus 4 USSU President and Would Silly Gamer Boy Photo 314582765 Get More Votes Than Coden Nikbakht. At the time of publication, Tub of Margarine had 244 Facebook likes, while Nikbakht’s page had 147.
Joining the ranks of Tub of Margarine for Conservative Party Leader, Tub of Margarine for USSU President is part of a rise in imitation-butter spreads that run for public office. Tub of Margarine believes this increase in spreadable candidates is a result of the times.
“I think that tubs of butter and margarine everywhere are finding their voices and honestly challenging the status quo of overconfident white guys,” Tub of Margarine said, in a Facebook conversation with the Sheaf.
Tub of Margarine believes that Nikbakht is unqualified for the position of USSU president, because they say his campaign promises don’t line up with real student needs and issues.
“Most students can’t afford vehicles, so making parking his main issue — when sexual assault, cost of tuition, food insecurity, heart disease and mental health are serious impediments to students’ success at the U of S — is frankly sad,” Tub of Margarine said. “[Nikbakht] seems to miss the mark with his comments about sexual-assault prevention, getting women elected, and [in] his most recent forum, when he took quite a stumble talking about Indigenous students on campus.”
Tub of Margarine’s opinions and attitudes have not gone unnoticed by the USSU. On March 20, the USSU posted on the Tub of Margarine for USSU President Facebook page, citing their concerns with the page and drawing attention to Section 63 of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union Bylaw, “Interference by Outside Parties.”
“We encourage a fair democratic process where differing views, critiques and debate [are] fostered. We are concerned about the premise of this page,” the USSU said. “[S]tudents that engage in actions that are likely to bring the electoral process into disrepute may be subject to sanctions, including but not limited to referring the matter to an outside person or body such as the University of Saskatchewan Standard of Student Conduct in
In addition to responding to the USSU’s Facebook statement that the Facebook page is causing electoral disrepute by antagonizing Nikbakht, Tub of Margarine told the Sheaf that their page is a valid response to an unqualified candidate.
“I understand the criticism, but I also see the need to be vocal when someone problematic is running for a position of leadership on campus,” Tub of Margarine said. “If our campaign can raise awareness of the dangers of heart disease and also make [Nikbakht] rethink the way he approaches women and gender-minority issues, sexual assault, and Indigenous sovereignty, then I’ve done what I set out to do.
“He has to understand that simply saying he sometimes tells his friends that making rape jokes isn’t okay isn’t enough advocacy for the position of president.”
Tub of Margarine also does not believe that the popularity and proliferation of satirical Facebook pages will dissuade students from pursuing student politics for fear of ridicule.
“I think our campaign has actually brought more focus to the election and has made students realize that, when they don’t run for positions of leadership, … some guy who really has no idea will run and win,” Tub of Margarine said. “There’s tons of really competent student leaders on campus, and I hope our campaign has made them realize that they are more than qualified to run for office, comparatively.”
Tanner Bayne / Culture Editor
Photo: J.C. Balicanta Narag / Photo Editor