By: Drew MacEachern
The UPEI Student Union Fall General Election will be held on October 6th and 7th this year and will feature 21 students running for a variety of positions. Students will be able to vote for representatives within their constituencies; first years can vote for First Year Representative, international students can vote for the International Student Representative and so on. However, all students can vote for the Senate Rep as well as the referendum question to replace the VP Communications with a Director of Communications. Voting can be done during the specified voting days by logging onto your campus login.
The Faculty of Arts has three representatives on the Council. Two of these are already filled (by Julia Ross and Kiley Kim for those who are interested), while one position remains to be filled. Two people are facing off for the single seat. One of these is Megan Rix, the sister of current VP Academic and External John Rix. The other is political science student Sam Ferguson.
The Senate is an University body comprised of all of the University Administration, the Deans of all faculties on campus, various professors, the President of the SU and several student councillor representatives. The position is an important one and the competition for Senate Representative seems to be a race to watch, with two positions open for four candidates. Owen Shaw, the SU’s Policy and Research Coordinator, is throwing his hat back into the ring after losing to Nathan Hood for the position of VP Student Life during the previous Spring Election. Shaw will be facing Brenna Doucette, Haley O’Connor and Zak Jarvis for a position on the Senate.
One of the most competitive races this election is for the International Student Representative. The position, to represent the interests of our substantial international student community in Council, is being contested by six different candidates. The Cadre’s own Elizabeth Iwunwa is one of these candidates. She is joined by several other noteworthy candidates including the current Buddy Program Coordinator and IRO student assistant Teresa Tu. Also running is Migel Spencer, an international student from Jamaica. At the last council meeting during candidate introductions, he mentioned that he came to UPEI last year as an exchange student and enjoyed it so much he decided to transfer. They are joined by Oluwaseun (Sean) Olarotimi, Jojo Lucas Gueiros Barbossa, and Esomchukwu Obinna Vin-boris.
The Ombudsman’s job is to act as a neutral judge for any conflicts of interests or complaints that are directed towards SU Executives or Councillors. This important position has two people vying for it; Connor Mayhew and Carson Butler. Elections are always a good time to see some out-going first years. This year we have three students running for the position; Halen Sky Blaisdell, Sam Midkiff, and Cole Parkin. The Accessibility Rep represents the interests of students with accessibility issues on the Council. This year Kaylee Blackett, the Wave’s Promotions Coordinator and Emily Suwester are competing for the position.
Engineering students can also already start to congratulate Andrew Simmons on becoming their new representative on Council; Simmons is running uncontested. Jane McCorriston, who will be acclaimed as the new Residence Representative, also hit the sweet spot of running unopposed. Notably, despite the large number of candidates this year, absolutely no one applied to run for Education Rep or for the Graduate Student Rep. In previous situations like this, the Student Union has acclaimed people to the position. It remains to be seen if this is the route that will be taken this year.