In what has been one of the most stressful years for student activists, the Elections Forum said much of the same that MUN Students’ Union has been advocating for.
With the tax increases on residence fees, book taxes – that of which has been coined as the one million dollar tax on students – the 30 percent increase on graduate tuition and the increases on gas tax and insurance. MUNSU has faced an uphill battle.
Drover unable to speak during Forum
Matthew Drover, a candidate for Executive Director of Finance and Services, was unable to attend the forum due to a midterm and was represented by his campaign manager, Pierce Collier.
Chief Returning Officer (CRO) Tiffany Holmberg, said in an email obtained by the Muse, that Drover was unable to have his proxy speak outside of the pre-written question answers.
“Considering how a proxy could be misused, as an example, they’re a better speaker than the candidate, or know more about the issue than the candidate,” said Holmberg.
“I just thought it would be most fair to give you an idea of the argument I would make to the elections committee should you chose to do so.”
Tuition Freeze remains a hot topic
While many of the executive hopefuls advocated to keep the tuition freeze as a way to make education as accessible as possible, Matt Drover’s Campaign Manager, who acted as his proxy for the elections forum says “we should get our house in order first,” and reduce the costs of services such as the breezeway, the attic, the salaries of the executive members and the students union fees that student pays.
Becca Chaytor, Executive Director of Student Life hopeful, says that her campaign is based around mental health and promises to offer suicide intervention training among other mental health based emergency training for all student clubs, societies, and residence students.
Bailey Howard is more focused on a new campaign to make campus safer for all students by promoting an “Ask Angela” campaign at the student bar to help combat sexual assault. “I don’t think it’s fair for us to be making promises without going through the elected board of directors,” said Howard.
Matt Barter, candidate for Executive Director of Advocacy, says that there’s a lot of financial mismanagement at the upper levels of the university, rather than within the union, and he is very interested in lobbying the senior administration to reduce their costs instead of reducing the costs of the union.
Ladan Mowlid, candidate for Executive Director of Campaigns says that currently our university doesn’t offer a grants program for those who need it most and she would be interested in working with the administration and pressuring them to create those sorts of grants for marginalized students.
While the candidates continue to campaign for the votes of undergraduate students both on and off campus, undergraduate students will begin voting on March 21 and 22 until 9:00 pm NDT.