Students will have 20 candidates to choose from when they head to the polls next week to elect the next edition of the Brock University Students’ Union.
That’s more than what usually put their name forward in the race for an executive position within BUSU, said chief returning officer Jimmy Norman.
Now he hopes that voters will follow suit, with more than the usual number casting ballots.
“One of the issues we have at Brock is that students don’t really pay attention to student elections,” Norman said.
Typically, voter turnout hovers at about 18 per cent, he noted. It’s a number Norman would like to see changed in 2013, given the role BUSU plays on campus.
The students’ union provides a variety of programs, opportunities, including more than 200 student jobs, and services, such as Foot Patrol and co-ordinating better public transit, which enhance undergraduate students’ experience at Brock.
BUSU also offers bursaries and emergency loans, and runs the University’s food bank.
“BUSU is really the voice of Brock’s undergraduate students,” Norman said. “So, in order to represent students, it’s important that they participate in elections and let us know what issues are important to them and whom they want persevering those challenges.”
Campaigning is already underway, with candidates wooing voters by setting up information tables in Mackenzie Chown A-block and Academic South.
All-candidates debates are also planned with the first one happening Thursday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. in the 13th floor boardroom. Although space limits the live audience to the first 30 people who show up, the debate will be streamed live online.
A second debate happens Monday at noon in Isaac’s with more room for a live audience. The debate will also be streamed live.
Polls open online on Tuesday, Feb. 12 and close Thursday, Feb. 14 at 9 p.m. Students will receive an email from BUSU Elections with a secure link to their individual online ballot.
In addition to choosing a new executive council to represent them for the next year, students will also be voting on a referendum question. They will be asked whether they support spending an extra $2.75-fee per credit to fund and support the Brock Student Sexual Violence Support Centre.