In case you hadn’t noticed, the last couple of weeks on campus have really started to heat up with election fervour. The incumbent slate on campus, Progressive Student Advocates (PSA) is up against a new slate, Yours Truly.
Last week, the slates, as well as independent candidates, had a chance to answer questions from both the electoral committee as well as TRUSU members in the Lecture Hall. Though PSA has had more time in elected positions than Yours Truly, as well as several successful campaigns under their belts, Yours Truly presidential candidate Gagandeep Singh believes reinforcing trust between the union and its members will lead his slate to succeed.
“We need to reinforce trust in the students’ union and not just around the time of the election,” Singh said at the executive representative candidates forum on March 9. “We need to build that trust every day and we need to build that trust fast.”
While Singh touted his slate’s honesty and commitment to TRUSU members, current president Tatiana Gilbert spoke of her own commitment to the TRU community and how her slate has led by example in the last year.
“During my time here on campus, I have constantly done all I can to involve myself in any way possible through clubs, through events, through co-ops and I plan to continue the fight in making sure students deserve what they deserve,” Gilbert said.
However, Singh has quite the experience under his belt as well. Singh became a part of the student caucus in his first year, was elected as vice president internal the following year and is currently serving as vice president services.
While heated discussion came from both sides of the room, many of the candidates, no matter their slate, agreed on quite a few points. Building trust and committing themselves to their members was echoed by candidates on both sides, with Singh specifically wanting to reinforce the mentality of positivity on campus.
“We need to start working together and not criticizing each other,” Singh said. “We need to come together, we need a mentality of positivity.”
When it came to The Reach though, the slates had slightly conflicting opinions, with Singh saying that his slate isn’t here to tell TRU Community Trust what to do. Gilbert however, wants to work directly with The Reach and see them become an integral part of campus.
“It’s very exciting to see that there is a new development on campus,” Gilbert said. “However, I think the Reach needs to consider a few things first. One, affordable housing for students and two, we would love to have them become integrated into our campus, so it’s important that we become as much of a part of their community as we are to theirs.”
Paola Lopéz, the Yours Truly candidate for vice president external and running against incumbent Cole Hickson, shared many of the same sentiments as her running mate Singh, especially when it came to the Fund the Future campaign.
“As an international student, I know what it’s like to pay three times the fees,” Lopéz said. “I know what Fund the Future is fighting for and I really want to support it and continue that idea.”
While Hickson himself has been a driving force behind Fund the Future, he believes the solution to international tuition increases lies elsewhere.
“I absolutely believe this is an issue we need to tackle,” Hickson said. “I’m advocating for a campaign called Fairness for International Students, we are going to work with the B.C. Federation of Students to make sure TRU recognizes the value brought to our region by international students.”
If you’d like to find out more about the candidates and what they represent, you can do so on TRUSU’s candidates for election 2018 page, http://trusu.ca/news/candidates-for-election-2018/.
Voting for the TRUSU 2018 election begins today, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the TRUSU Lecture Hall. Tomorrow, the polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Friday they will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. In order to cast a ballot, TRUSU members must bring one piece of photo identification.