Students to vote for Students’ Association Board members soon

By Gabrielle Piche

The new style of SA Board member elections aim to help more students have their voices heard.

Fifteen — the number of representatives students will be able to elect to the Students’ Association Board starting this spring.

The current Students’ Association Board passed a bylaw change on Jan. 15. Before, the Red River College Students’ Association’s (SA) executive committee would appoint people to the board.

Now, college students will choose the board members in two annual elections. One election will be held in the spring, and the other in September.

Board members vote on decisions affecting college students. They bring up questions and concerns to the SA on behalf of student groups.

Students will choose five board members in the spring election. This comes in addition to the four SA executive spots students vote to fill.

The remaining 10 board positions will be filled in the September election. 

MNP LLP, one of the largest full-service chartered accountancy and business advisory firms in Canada, reviewed the board during the 2018-2019 school year and recommended students elect members in this fashion.

“In the universities, where students are commonly there for four or five years, it isn’t a big deal if (students) have to wait a year til’ they can run for something,” said Lauren Slegers, one of the board’s ex-officio members. 

Slegers said students beginning one-year programs at Red River College in September wouldn’t have the opportunity to join the board if elections were only in spring.

Students will get an email in the spring regarding the college’s election./GABRIELLE PICHÉ

The staggered elections allow for continuity, said Jay Michno, the board’s alumni representative. Most members will hold their positions during two consecutive school years, allowing them to share the previous board’s ideas with new members.

Members elected in the spring will hold a spot from May 1 to April 30 of the following year. Those elected in the fall will keep their seats from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 of the following year.

Michno was on the 2018-2019 board and saw MNP LLP’s review.

“This was among some of the most important recommendations that were made,” he said. 

When Michno spoke with students last year, most didn’t know what the SA did. He said he’s hopeful the new elections will change the lack of knowledge.

SA board members represent various student groups. 

Students who receive the most votes will be elected as board members. Candidates will run for a general seat and declare which student group they are representing once elected.

“You could say, ‘I’m a student resident and I’m also in the School of Trades and Technology. I bring both of those perspectives to the table, so I represent both of these,” said Joshua Roopchand, the SA’s president.

There will be five extra board members this spring: the board is currently full, but members’ terms don’t end until next fall. The five newly elected members will just join the group.

Students will get an email when it’s time to vote.