Your candidates for the 2019-2020 USSU general election

By in News

While some students spent the wee hours of March 18 getting plastered on Guinness or some grotesque green concoctions, a select number were on campus plastering their faces across university walls, signalling the annual University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union general election.

Any returning student at the U of S knows what this means. For the uninitiated, over the next week, you will see a plethora of posters, a handful of forums and a lot of talk from prospective student politicians who are vying for one of four positions on the USSU executive, each of which comes with a near $40,000 salary.

This year, only the presidential position is contested, and whichever candidate gets the most votes will take the position. For the three uncontested vice-presidential positions, the successful candidate must receive more “yes” votes than “no” votes to secure the position.

Undergraduate students can cast their ballots for the general election on PAWS from March 27 at 9 a.m. to March 28 at 4 p.m. Likewise, the deadline for complaints against candidates ends on March 28 at 4 p.m. The results will be announced in Place Riel later that evening.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

Kylie Philips, fourth-year political studies

Leadership experience:

2016-2017 International Women’s Movement social director, 2017-2018 University Students’ Council member for the College of Arts and Science, 2017-2018 Political Studies Students’ Association vice-president external affairs, 2018-2019 USSU academic and governance assistant and 2018-2019 University Students’ Council chair

Platform:

To create a “Your Voice” service on the USSU website that will allow students to create petitions, to collaborate with presidents from other U15 student unions on issues facing students and to liaise better with the greater bodies of government

Why did you choose these pillars for your campaign?

“A major theme across campus is a disconnect between the USSU and students. In the last year, it has seemed to develop from a disconnect to anger and frustration with the union. That’s not the job of the union — the union is meant to serve the students. As president, my role would be to spearhead the union for students rather than to choose for students how the university should look.

“The ‘Your Voice’ platform will allow students to turn the university into the school of their dreams. When it comes the U15 piece, it’s a matter of finding creativity and not being so stale. We need to think about what we haven’t tried. When it comes to governance relations, I have the best qualifications through my work with various forms of government.”

Regan Ratt-Misponas, fourth-year education

Leadership experience:

2015-2016 University Students’ Council member for Indigenous students and 2017-2019 Indigenous Students’ Council president

Platform:

To advocate on a student-first basis, to hold the U of S and the USSU accountable in their decolonizing efforts, to connect with U of S satellite campuses and to develop a consultation plan between the USSU executive, members of student council and students

Why did you choose these pillars for your campaign?

“For much of my time on campus, these have been things that I have exhibited in my leadership. These are things I have consistently talked about over my years on campus. I’ve done this as president of the ISC. These are things that I have always stood for and always talked about.

Sheldon Alderton, fourth-year honours philosophy

Leadership experience:

2012-2016 construction foreman and 2018- 2019 USSU Childcare Board of Directors chair

Platform:

To promote collaboration between the USSU and the greater U of S campus and to implement student feedback in conversations with municipal, provincial and federal governments

Why did you choose these pillars for your campaign?

“If the greater campus community isn’t on the same page about what’s going on, how [are] the USSU and the university supposed to help support students when they move into the working world? More collaboration between student groups and the USSU would be imperative to help interconnect colleges on campus.

“If we don’t work with students to give that collaborative experience now, they won’t be as competitive in the global job market or the global world going forward. We need to make sure that the USSU is firmly established in this city and this province and that it can be a collective voice to get student voices across.”

VICE-PRESIDENT OPERATIONS AND FINANCE CANDIDATE

Jamie Bell, third-year management

Leadership experience:

2017-2018 Edwards Business Students’ Society marketing assistant, 2018-2019 University Students’ Council member for Edwards School of Business and 2018-2019 EBSS operations director

Platform:

To develop a leadership-training package based on traditional Indigenous practices, to better communicate USSU financial and governance decisions and to improve the templates for club-funding applications

Why did you choose these pillars for your campaign?

“I feel they would most benefit the USSU at this point. I’ve applied for funding through the USSU, and I understand it can be a really stressful experience. Now, on the Budget and Finance Committee, I want to reduce the anxiety from that process.

“To promote decolonization and Indigenization, I would like to collaborate with knowledge keepers and other Indigenous students to create that governance-training program.”

VICE-PRESIDENT STUDENT AFFAIRS CANDIDATE

Allen Lewis, first-year undeclared

Leadership experience:

Trucking supervisor and 2018-2019 Arts and Science Students’ Union member at large

Platform:

To learn from the perspectives of all kinds of students to understand what issues impact them and to facilitate co-operation between clubs and students

Why did you choose these pillars for your campaign?

“I came to these points as I have been thinking about what [aspect of] university has meant the most to me this first year on campus. I came here [with] a long-time bucket list to explore this set of paths that so many people in the world take when they have the chance.

“As I explore things, I often find that I am not the expert of any particular path, but I am really keen on noticing who the experts are — as well as the ones who are in control of places on these different paths. I enjoy the discussions around policy and ideas about how we can work together.”

VICE-PRESIDENT ACADEMIC AFFAIRS CANDIDATE

Carlos Muñoz Pimentel, third-year political studies

Leadership experience:

2018-2019 University Students’ Council member for the College of Arts and Science and 2018-2019 Political Studies Students’ Association vice-president external affairs

Platform:

To better promote scholarships and create scholarship bundles, to build upon the Faceto-Face initiative by focusing on academic issues and to showcase more of the academic achievements of students at the U of S

Why did you choose these pillars for your campaign?

“I picked affordability because living away from home has shown me how difficult it is to make ends meet on a student budget. By having scholarships and open-education resources available, we can lessen financial burdens on students.

“The U of S has a lot of brilliant people that need a platform to propel themselves forward to get the right experience for their career. I’m here to better your educational experience, and through these channels, I can help students with their academic goals.”

Tanner Bayne / News Editor