By: Obinna Esomchukwu
If you are wondering how to get involved on campus, wonder no more. The Fall General Elections is upon us and nine council seats are available. Nominations are open until Friday, the 23rd of September.
Why would anyone want to be a Councillor?
Many students are only reminded of the Student Union during Wet & Dry Pubs. Others, come to the SU office to either opt-out of their health insurance (well, you can now do that online) or get the student agenda. So, if you have ever wondered what the hell happens in the Student Union. This is an opportunity to find out, firsthand.
By definition, a Councillor is someone elected by his or her constituents to represent them in a larger assembly. In UPEI this assembly comprises of fellow Councillors, SU Executives, Faculty & Staff, University Administration, and Board of Governors.
Since Councillors are elected, a prospective Councillor is expected to campaign. Not only does a good campaign have the potential to secure you a council seat, it can also serve as a springboard for other endeavors on and off-campus. On the campaign trail, you are bound to meet a lot of people, some will be interested, others couldn’t care less. But, overall you are investing time learning about your constituents and developing interpersonal skills, which are indispensable in the ‘real world.’
No prior experience is required to become a Councillor. Your responsibility will involve crafting policies that affect everyone in the University, attending Council Meetings where policies are deliberated upon (some meetings can be up to seven hours, so brace yourself & take snacks along), and lastly a Councillor is expected to serve on a committee which will focus on a specific issue.
Now, apart from being the spokesperson for your constituency, an elected council member is entitled to attend one UPEI Wet/Dry event for free. He or she is also eligible to attend the annual council retreat and banquet. But, most important is the gratification that comes from active public service.
By now, you should be itching to be a Councillor, if not, it’s alright! The following positions are available this year: International Student Representative, Math and Computational Sciences Representative, Health and Wellness Representative, Education Representative, First-year Representative, Residence Representative, Engineering Representative, and Accessibility Representative. You can pick-up a nomination form from the front desk of the Student Union office.
Finally, make sure you put best foot out during your campaign, but never forget that being a student comes first!