BREAKING – UVSS election results might not be released as scheduled

> Kailey Willetts

UPDATE - election results will be released today at noon at uvss.ca.

Candidates may have to wait until Friday at the earliest to hear if they were successfully elected to the UVic Students’ Society (UVSS) Board of Directors.

“There was a concern raised that by potentially releasing the results of the UVSS elections prior to the closing of the polling period for senate and bog that there could be an influence on the way voters continue to vote,” says Deputy Electoral Officer Shawn Slavin. “Given the trends in the UVSS voting compared to Senate and BOG [Board of Governors] voting, generally in the past the results are somewhat parallel. So by releasing UVSS results prior to the closing of two other elections there is a good chance that that would release in some way the results of senate and bog at the same time.”

Both Vision and Fuse UVic have candidates running for Senate and BOG. ERTW has no senate candidates, and there are a handful of independents.

“I think it’s a lot of bullshit,” says candidate and current Director-at-Large Gabrielle Sutherland about the potential delay. Last year, Sutherland had to undergo a recount before finally gaining her spot on the board, causing a long delay and emotional strain. “We were told in writing that we were going to get it at noon today.”

Sutherland does not think the results should be delayed, despite concerns over senate and BOG “for the simple reason that the majority of people voted already.”

Slavin agrees it is more likely than not that students who voted in the UVSS have also already voted in the other two elections.

“One of the big things we were pushing this year is trying to make sure people knew there were three separate elections. However when students went to vote they may have just voted for one. We don’t know whether it was UVSS, senate or BOG,” he says. “However, our desire or hope is that they did vote for all three at the same time.”

UVSS electoral policy states the results will be released when they become available. Withholding the results would require that policy to be overturned.

“The decision to not release the results is not being made by the elections office,” says Slavin, who adds he cannot discuss who will be making the decision but is waiting on instruction.

Slavin says he cannot comment on behalf of the elections office as to the validity of the complaint.

“In my personal opinion,” he adds, “if the university secretaries office, they are aware of this concern, if they believe that there is a potential to influence their elections, I feel in the interest of democracy and our role of the elections office is to promote democracy then it is in the best interests to withhold the results until the closing of senate and BOG.”

It is the Martlet’s understanding that only the UVSS can overturn its policy, typically requiring a two-thirds vote on the board of directors. Therefore, the university cannot make this decision or it would undermine the autonomy of the UVSS. The UVSS has an electoral committee that makes decisions regarding the elections and has an emergency meeting scheduled today for 11:30 a.m.

Many candidates feel this concern could have been addressed sooner.

“That was a decision of the board as to when they wanted to hold them. It’s not something we have control over,” says Slavin. “We work based off policy and we’ve done everything we can under policy. There’s things that the board overlooked when they wrote the electoral policy manual.”

Slavin says as long as policy isn’t overturned, the results will be released as scheduled.

Platform points: are they realistic?

> Kailey Willetts

Every year, candidates for the UVic Students’ Society (UVSS) Board of Directors campaign on a slew of ideas, plans and goals for the upcoming board term. Usually they sound pretty good — most people like things like sustainability and better bus service. But what are candidates actually promising? And how realistic are these promises? The Martlet has researched some of each slate’s more impressive promises to give you the breakdown on what the candidates are actually saying.

ERTW

While some platform points on ERTW’s platform are (hopefully) facetious, there are some promises that they seem pretty serious about. So let’s discuss: a mini-doughnut machine, faculty representation, abolishing the issues manual, requiring SUB businesses to turn a profit and not collecting fees from students on co-op.

“Mini-doughnut machine”

This campaign promise has come up several times. And, I’ve got to admit, it seems like a good idea (an even better idea if you can make vegan mini-doughnuts!) So, if it seems like a good idea, why bring it up for analysis? Because there’s just one problem with it — mini-doughnut machines are BIG and involve hot oil. Funnily enough, when former Chairperson James Coccola and former Director of Academics Rajpreet Sall took office during the 2010/2011 term, they looked at putting a mini-doughnut machine in the SUB and determined it wasn’t really feasible.

All hope of mini-doughnuts is not gone, however. One idea that I’ve heard was to get a mini-doughnut cart and sell them outside in the summer and the nicer parts of spring and fall. Food carts outside the SUB? Maybe not a bad idea. Someone should look into it. I’m a fan of veggie dogs.

“Implement faculty representation”

Faculty representation seems to be an idea that people are pretty into. Some people are into the bylaw package that Vision candidate David Foster brought to the fall Annual General Meeting (AGM). Others say they like the idea of faculty representation, but haven’t seen a proposal they support yet. It’s unclear whether or not ERTW plans to re-introduce Foster’s package or come up with a new one. Regardless, this is clearly a possible platform point to implement — if you can get a quorate AGM and students vote to change the bylaws.

When faculty representation came up at this year’s fall AGM the meeting didn’t reach quorum. One solution to AGM attendance that’s been floated around, especially by ERTW, is free food. This is a good idea, but no guarantee. The spring AGM offered up free pizza and still didn’t make quorum. For more on faculty representation, click here.

Mandate political neutrality for the UVSS by abolishing the issues manual”

The issues manual is a UVSS document that contains position statements and commitments on a variety of issues. One of these is a commitment to a non-partisan UVSS. ERTW acknowledged in a post on their slate website that they don’t disagree with all the positions in the issues policy: “Now, there isn’t much point to having a student society if you can’t lobby about issues that directly affect students such as transit, unreasonable tuition hikes, and basic human rights. In this regard, having a document like the issues policy makes sense — you can quite clearly define the realistic goals of the organization in regards to lobbying and to human rights.”

Then they list several points they feel are beyond the scope of the UVSS and/or politically divisive. Luckily for ERTW, as they mention, a lot of the policies they want to get rid of were introduced by the Board of Directors, which means next year’s board can scrap them with a 2/3 vote at a board meeting. Other policies were put in at an AGM, which means they would have to go back to an AGM to be scrapped.

I don’t think getting quorum would be a challenge here, especially if they bring the entire issues policy to the chopping block. The largest AGM in UVSS history was centred on the issues policy, where an overwhelming number of students showed up to support the UVSS’ pro-choice mandate. So basically, it’s totally feasible to scrap the issues introduced at the board level and equally feasible to get a quorate AGM over many of the issues in the policy. But whether or not some of those issues stay or go is ultimately up to students and I think you’d be hard pressed to find enough students to scrap the entire policy without having a seriously well thought-out document to replace it.

Require SUB businesses to turn a profit”

Most SUB businesses do turn a profit. In fact, there seems to be a steady upward trend in the profitability of SUB businesses that indicates a recovery from the impact of the SUB strike in fall 2008.

The UVSS is also working on a strategic plan, which includes a long-term financial plan for the first time. One of the biggest money-makers for the SUB is Meetings and Catering. Coincidentally, the majority of its revenue is likely made from non-students who rent out spaces in the building for various purposes.

Last year, SUBtext cleared $85,000 and ZAP! made more than $115,000. The two businesses that lost money were Food Services (including Bean There, International Grill and Health Food Bar) and Cinenceta.

Considering the Munchie Bar pulled in more than $59,000 and most movie theatres make a large majority of their profits off concession services, it seems to more than balance out Cinecenta’s loss of just over $3,000 (which is better than last year’s loss of just over $8000). Food services lost about $18,000 on paper last year. However, since the main kitchen makes food not just for Bean There, Health Food Bar and International Grill but also Felicita’s, it eats a lot of Felicita’s labour costs. Where you’re really losing money are places like the General Office that provide services to students and student groups such as room bookings and access to club and course union equipment. However, those are exactly the sorts of services the UVSS needs to be providing.

Stop collecting UVSS fees from students on co-op”

While this is a significant campaign point, the fact co-op students pay UVSS fees is regulated by their definition by the university as full time students. Also, co-op students receive several benefits of membership, such as access to the UVSS Health and Dental Plan and the right to vote in elections. While the UVSS’ bylaws allow votes for co-op students, if they don’t pay fees they technically aren’t members of the society at that time. Not having membership would also prevent them from enrolling in the UVSS Health and Dental plan. Previous enrolment in the plan without paying any student fees was an oversight.

FUSE UVic

Each member of FUSE UVic has their own platform points. However, there seem to be some common themes that this slate is addressing. Importantly, there is a focus on bringing back the SUB party, one card systems for food and printing, local and sustainable food in the SUB, on-campus mental health services, increased transit services and affordable education. Also, we’ve heard wind of a planned “UVSS beer” which we obviously can’t leave out.

Bringing back the SUB party”

Oh, the SUB party. Last seen in slightly less epic proportions in 2009, the SUB party is an event that takes up multiple spaces in the SUB and is accompanied by live music and DJs. The last full-size SUB party was in 2006, after which the UVSS received a $10,000 fine for violating its liquor license — the largest liquor fine in B.C. history (should we be proud? probably not). In 2009, a smaller version of the SUB party was brought in which involved Felicita’s, Vertigo and the main corridor outside the SUB’s food services. This time there was a capacity of 750 people and increased security. Felicita’s liquor license was expanded to cover the entire party. So it looks like maybe it ispossible to get a liquor license for a SUB party, considering the 2009 version resulted in no major incidents.

One card system

This is really two separate platform points, which I have decided to combine. Currently, there are two things students can buy with prepaid cards in the SUB and from UVic — food and printing. Sharing a print card with UVic has been a platform point for at least three years — and it hasn’t happened. Not only would it require the cooperation of the university, it would also require all print services to be on the same system. That’s expensive and I feel like the university isn’t super keen to cover those costs. Also UVic has recently switched systems. They don’t use a card, you add money to your netlink ID. That could cause problems for people using ZAP! without netlink IDs or for organizations on campus such as advocacy groups and clubs. In terms of food, the SUB has SUB gift cards that can be used at any SUB business. UVic Food Services adds food money to your student card. I suppose, again, the entire system could be switched over to allow student cards to also operate in the SUB but this is likely a costly process and then your parents can’t buy you SUB gift cards.

Expand the availability of local, SPCA-certified and Oceanwise food products sold in the SUB”

This is an initiative that has already been started. UVic Food for Thought has been working closely with not only the UVSS but also UVic to bring SPCA-certified and Oceanwise food to campus. This has been a promise before, but it seems to be one FUSE UVic actually took initiative on this year. Considering FUSE UVic Director-at-Large candidate Kelsey Mech is the Projects Coordinator for UVic Food for Thought, it seems pretty safe to assume that if she’s elected, this campaign promise will actively be followed up on.As Food for Thought mentions on their website, SPCA-certified and Oceanwise products would probably cost a little bit more, which is why they’ve been actively seeking student support for the initiative. Cost increases would be the biggest barrier to this platform point and reliant on student support. However, UVic has switched to campus-wide, SPCA-certified eggs (check out the article in Thursday’s Martlet about UVic Food for Thought) and the UVSS and UVIC share the same food supplier.

Develop mental health services within the SUB”

I’m not actually sure what this means. I do know there is a shortage on space in the SUB. I invite Emily Rogers or another member of the FUSE UVic team to expand on this platform point. What I do know is that UVic’s counselling services does not have sufficient capacity, something Rogers and Fuse are also lobbying to expand.

Continue to lobby municipal and provincial governments for expanded transit services” FUSE expands on this one on their Facebook page. FUSE candidates have been meeting with B.C. Transit, local mayors and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission (VRTC). One solution suggested is High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, which would allow buses priority particularly during peak traffic times. They are also pushing for Light Rail Transit, which they suggest would free-up more buses from West Shore to service busy routes. UVic and Camosun contribute around $5 million to Victoria transit, making them a huge stakeholder. If enough pressure both from students and the general public can be drummed up, the VRTC will likely take action, especially if municipalities are supportive (which many are).

Ensure that affordable education is an issue in the 2013 Provincial Election”

UVSS lobbying work saw a pretty big change this year as students voted to leave the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) last spring. Since then, the students’ society has formed its own coalition for affordable education — the Where’s the Funding?! campaign. With the release of the provincial budget, it seems the current government just isn’t listening to students. At all. Luckily there’s an election coming up. The question is, will the UVSS actually be able to make affordable education an election issue given what seems to be youth voter apathy? It’s hard to say, but the only way it has a chance of working is through constant pressure and awareness. Polls have shown public support for more affordable education. The mainstream media has recognized a student debt crisis. Eventually, students are going to get pissed off by the complete indifference of the B.C. Liberals on this issue. If the UVSS and the “Where’s the Fuding?!” campaign can mobilize this, we may be in for a very interesting election.

And finally, at risk of sounding horribly biased, they want to get a fucking UVic brand beer. I love beer. We would seem really cool. Fuse has stated it’s a big priority for their marketing team. The plan is to get a local brewery to brew a beer, stick a UVic label on it, and get it in Felicitas as soon as possible. I have seen many breweries make beers that are branded to specific organizations, and given the good relationships between the UVSS and many local breweries this shouldn’t be a huge problem. In fact, when I tweeted about it, a brewery tweeted back at me to express their interest. I think the biggest problem would be deciding what kind of beer to go with. People are pretty particular about their beer preferences and you wouldn’t want to alienate any lager drinkers by bringing in an IPA.

Vision UVic

Vision UVic seems to be all about saving you money. Or, at least pointing out what they don’t think the board should be spending money on. So let’s examine their platform points to hold a referendum on student fees every five years and cost-saving measures like separating the SUB from the UVSS and not holding an annual board “camping trip.”

Require all student fees to be subject to referendum every five years”

It sounds like a good idea. Students want a say over where their money goes. However, it’s unclear which fees are going to be up for referendum. Vision Director-at-Large Gabrielle Sutherland has said she does not include dedicated fees for advocacy groups in this. However, a significant portion — 38.4 per cent — of UVSS fees go towards dedicated student groups and student-run initiatives that are not directly controlled by the UVSS board of directors. These include advocacy groups, clubs, course unions and sustainability groups like the UVic Sustainability Project. Approximately 8 per cent goes to services such as the food bank, the ombudsperson and a dedicated elections fund to ensure impartial elections. Just under 35 per cent — $24.60 — goes to UVSS operations, and another 12.8 per cent goes to building and capital. What is yet to be determined is whether or not Vision is proposing having simply the 47.7 per cent of fees that are directly associated with running the UVSS and SUB go up for referendum, or if they also want to put the dedicated fees that allow student groups to operate up for a vote every five years as well. To put things in perspective, UVSS members pay $76 in athletic fees to the university.

Explore separating the SUB from the UVSS”

We are waiting for Vision to clarify this point and whether or not they are discussing privatization. However, the concept of privatizing the SUB has come up from various candidates during this election period, including ERTW’s Ryan Petty. While privatization may sound cool because there could be a Tim Horton’s, there are significant problems. I know a lot of people think having a Tim Horton’s in the SUB sounds great despite its shitty coffee, but there is one important factor people are forgetting — the SUB is unionized to provide students with good jobs at fair pay. You can’t just stop having unionized workers in your building. There’s this thing called inheritance rights. So either you convince the businesses to have union employees at union rates and convince union employees they actually want to work in these places (somehow I can’t imagine the Munchies serving up a Tim Horton’s “latte”) or you buy out the contract. It’s probably a good thing this platform point is just to explore the possibility, at which point they’ll likely realize it’s a bad idea.

Stop wasting your student fees on items like the UVSS’ annual camping trip to Shawnigan Lake”

At the start of each board term, the new UVSS board of directors goes on a board retreat to learn things about things like budgets, post-secondary education, lobbying, committees and board meetings, Robert’s Rules and anti-oppressive practices. The board retreat for all 21 board members, necessary staff and guest presenters is around $2000. An idea has been to hold the retreat in the SUB, however catering the meals for the two-day training session for all involved has been estimated to run higher than $2000. In fact, the UVSS has tried to hold retreats in the SUB before, and to quote a former chairperson, they “have been a flop.”

Candidates withdraw from UVSS elections

> Erin Ball

Four candidates from the ERTW slate have withdrawn from the UVSS student elections. Pat Cousineau, Cass Hussmann, Sean Leslie, and Stephen Lyon, all running for the position of Director-at-Large on the UVSS board, submitted their notice to the elections office that they would be withdrawing from the election.

Mike Atkinson, campaign manager and also a Director-at-Large candidate, stated on the ERTW slate website that some of the candidates are currently on a co-op term and working out of town. Atkinson says they expressed concerns that “they have had difficulty defending themselves against the many serious allegations and accusations that have been leveled against our slate.”

In an email to the Martlet, Atkinson clarified the post from the ERTW website.

“The reason for the withdrawal of those candidates is partially related to the Twitter comments, and other material that has been posted online,” wrote Atkinson. “The three coop students were concerned with the fact that they are not on campus, and cannot defend themselves very effectively.”

The ERTW slate has been dealing with concerns stemming from a section of their slate that states they will implement “campus wide de-sensitivity training.” Comments on their website speculate that the platform is referring to an incident that happened during a pub crawl last fall. The incident resulted in professionalism and sensitivity seminars becoming part of the BEng program. ERTW candidate Tom Gracie explicitly states that “de-sensitivity training” has nothing to do with the pub-crawl incident.

The ERTW withdrawals bring the number of Director-at-Large candidates to 21 vying for 11 spots.

Slates make progress, cooperate on faculty representation

> Kailey Willetts

Faculty representation seems to be a key point for many in this year’s UVSS election. While the ERTW slate has come out campaigning hard for faculty representation, and Vision UVic’s David Foster fielded the bylaw package in the fall trying to implement it, Fuse UVic has been comparatively silent on the topic.

During the chairperson debate, Fuse UVic candidate Emily Rogers mentioned the slate was not opposed to faculty representation. A message was also posted on Fuse UVic’s Facebook page stating “Fuse UVic candidates are not against faculty representation. They want to see a consultation process with UVSS and UVic because the university administers voting. It needs to be a system that is in accordance with the Society Act and with webvote.”

Recently, the Martlet received an email from ERTW campaign manager Mike Atkinson that demonstrates inter-slate cooperation on faculty representation.

“After the all candidates forum yesterday, [ERTW Director-at-Large candidates] Jacob Gulliver, Tom Gracie and I had a very productive discussion with [Fuse UVic Chair candidate] Emily Rogers and [Fuse UVic Director of Events candidate] Lewis Rhodes regarding Faculty Representation,” wrote Atkinson. “They plan on working with us to come up with specific details after the election is finished.”

Furthermore, the candidates are hoping students will get involved in the discussion.

“We would like to invite any students who are interested in implementing faculty representation to contact us after the elections,” continued Atkinson, “and get involved in reformatting the UVSS Board of Directors to include more facets of the University Experience.”

“It’s a platform promise that we would like to introduce more carefully than last time it was brought forward,” explains Atkinson.

While no slate seems to have come to a conclusion as to exactly what they want faculty representation to look like, Atkinson and ERTW have outlined many components they hope will be included in any model of faculty representation the UVSS implements. A few specifics are a formula to ensure that the number of seats each faculty gets is proportional to its population, specific exemptions to accommodate the engineering co-op program, and specific duties for faculty representatives such as meeting with course unions and professional development unions.

The ERTW plan would also contain a clause to replace any faculty rep position without a candidate to a director at large position.

What all candidates seem to be in favour of is ensuring that any changes to the make-up of the board involve thorough consultation with students and a careful planning process.

Questionnaires now available!

Hi folks,

I’d like to apologize for the delay, but the Martlet All Candidates Questionnaires are now available on the "Candidates" page.

The questionnaires were a joint effort between myself (the news editor) and two of our elections reporters. One of our favourite things to do at the Martlet is try and humanize student politicians. Some of our questions were serious and gauged to give you a little more information to help you decide who to vote for. Others were less serious, and will hopefully give you a little bit of insight into the person behind the name! Here is a brief breakdown of what we asked and why!

The explanations in quotations marks are directly from the Martlet election reporters.

1) At what point did you become interested in politics? What made you decide to run?
"[At what point did you become interested in politics] provides more insight - has this always been an interest, or perhaps it has recently come about as a response to events or displeasure with the current state of things around campus." This was originally two separate questions but I added "What made you decide to run" as the second part of this question because I wanted to have 10 questions, not 11.

2) Would you consider pursuing politics beyond the scope of a university setting? 
Should we be on the lookout for our next prime minister? I thought this would be interesting to see who is more interested in simply implementing change around campus and who wants a political position now as practice for politics pursued later in life. “

3) Which federal political party do you support/feel most closely reflects your politics?
This was my personal favourite question. Most people seemed to be of the impression we asked whether or not who they voted for federally was relevant. We weren’t. If we thought it wasn’t relevant we wouldn’t have asked! It was not a trick question and the Martlet is aware that the UVSS is a non-partisan organization. However, we want to know, damn it! While the UVSS is not the Canadian government, values that help people pick which political party to support traverse these boundaries and are present in our everyday lives.  

4) Have you ever been to a board meeting?
I mean, we want to make sure you know what you’re getting into. 

5) What is your position on UVic’s smoking policy that bans smoking inside Ring Road?
The Smoking Policy is a hot topic on campus, especially given the Hempology 101 referendum that is running concurrently with the UVSS elections (more on that in this Thursday’s Martlet). If you have strong feelings on this policy, it’s important to ensure they will be reflected at the board level

6) What is Victoria’s first transit priority?
I mean, this is kind of self-evident. A lot of students take the bus. A lot of students get passed up. We want to see who has the ideas to fix this! 

7) At the board level, what changes can be made to increase the UVSS’ visibility on campus, such as voter turnout, participation, etc?
"I feel like voter apathy is something that needs to be addressed, not just at UVic, but on campuses across Canada. Low turnout is a problem, whether it’s at AGMs SAGMs or on election day. I’m curious about some pragmatic ways to either make voting more enjoyable or campaigns more exciting. Obviously, these types of things can only be done at the board level through policy changes or committees."

8) ) What do you plan on doing after graduation and what kind of skills do you hope to acquire on the UVSS board? 
"Personally, just attending the bi-weekly Board meetings and trying to keep up with Robert’s Rules and amendments to the amended amendments has taught me a lot about the political process. I’m sure there are a few former UVSS Directors that went on to become politicians, but what some other careers/professions that can be supplemented with a little bit of student politicking? Also, I’m interested in how many of you guys want to become lawyers."

9)  If you were to create any course at UVic, what would it be and why?
"I thought this would give some fun insight about the interests of the different candidats - whether it would be Harry Potter 101 or otherwise, it would make them relatable to various readers."

10) What is the best coffee on campus? 
"Self-explanatory. My vote is Finnerty." And mine is for Munchie. Coffee is a contentious issue. This is clearly the question upon which we expect most students to make their voting decisions.

Enjoy! 

Kailey Willetts
News Editor 

Megan Quigley, IndependentDirector of Student Affairs Candidate
>Rachel Rasmussen 
Megan Quigley, a fourth year Women Studies and English double major running for the Director of Student Affairs position, wants to put more transparency into politics.
“I think that the UVSS board has been burdened with a legacy, both legally and within its board organizing, which has been difficult to move beyond,” Quigley states. “I would really like to motivate for more transparency at the board level, and a reminder that the board is elected to serve students”
Moreover, most importantly, Quigley stresses the importance of the student voice being heard. She asserts, “I want to see more university support for issues that the student body feels are important, and I would like to see more student consultation.” 
When asked about her hopes for political change around campus, Quigley replies that “If [she] were to hope for anything from the next year it would be seeing more students becoming engaged and feeling included on campus, whether through creating clubs, or getting involved with advocacy” and finished by staying, “a student voice is what makes a university thrive.”
Quigley believes that both her prior experience with advocacy, and previous position as a UVSS board member will aid her to implement change around campus.  In response to the question of what makes her stand out, Quigley replies:  “I believe that I have experience that qualifies me for the position, but also an earnest intention in being reflective about this position and what it means to be an advocate and an ally, within the UVSS.”
With an interest in gardening and growing her own food, and passion for community, look for this candidate sharing tips about such around campus.

Megan Quigley, Independent
Director of Student Affairs Candidate

>Rachel Rasmussen 

Megan Quigley, a fourth year Women Studies and English double major running for the Director of Student Affairs position, wants to put more transparency into politics.

“I think that the UVSS board has been burdened with a legacy, both legally and within its board organizing, which has been difficult to move beyond,” Quigley states. “I would really like to motivate for more transparency at the board level, and a reminder that the board is elected to serve students”

Moreover, most importantly, Quigley stresses the importance of the student voice being heard. She asserts, “I want to see more university support for issues that the student body feels are important, and I would like to see more student consultation.” 

When asked about her hopes for political change around campus, Quigley replies that “If [she] were to hope for anything from the next year it would be seeing more students becoming engaged and feeling included on campus, whether through creating clubs, or getting involved with advocacy” and finished by staying, “a student voice is what makes a university thrive.”

Quigley believes that both her prior experience with advocacy, and previous position as a UVSS board member will aid her to implement change around campus.

In response to the question of what makes her stand out, Quigley replies:  “I
believe that I have experience that qualifies me for the position, but also an earnest intention in being reflective about this position and what it means to be an advocate and an ally, within the UVSS.”

With an interest in gardening and growing her own food, and passion for community, look for this candidate sharing tips about such around campus.

Lewis Rhodes, FuseUVicDirector of Events Candidate
>Rachel Rasmussen 
Lewis Rhodes, Director of Events candidate, is a fourth year Political Science major who wants to bring the fun back into politics, and back on to campus.
“While campaigns and lobbying are essential roles that the UVSS have to play, we should also be the place on campus where students can come to have a good time. That means making changes to our campus bar, throwing exciting well-promoted events, and building a sense of campus-wide community here at UVic.” 
Rhodes believes that along with his strong determination, his diverse experiences over his four years on campus will make him a positive leader. Hoping to become a teacher, Rhodes’ interests lie with music, reading, politics and education.
When asked what constitutes a good leader, Rhodes states that it’s “honesty, hard work, and a good sense of humor.”
“My focus is on fun. While an executive position is a big responsibility and not something to be taken lightly, I think it’s important that student representatives make sure to make the UVSS as fun and welcoming as possible. I’m going to work as hard as I can to make that happen.” 
Hoping to make changes in Felicitas, implement events, and bring some big bands to play at UVic, Rhodes, like his fellow candidates, has strong vision for the future. 

Lewis Rhodes, FuseUVic
Director of Events Candidate

>Rachel Rasmussen 

Lewis Rhodes, Director of Events candidate, is a fourth year Political Science major who wants to bring the fun back into politics, and back on to campus.

“While campaigns and lobbying are essential roles that the UVSS have to play, we should also be the place on campus where students can come to have a good time. That means making changes to our campus bar, throwing exciting well-promoted events, and building a sense of campus-wide community here at UVic.” 

Rhodes believes that along with his strong determination, his diverse experiences over his four years on campus will make him a positive leader. Hoping to become a teacher, Rhodes’ interests lie with music, reading, politics and education.

When asked what constitutes a good leader, Rhodes states that it’s “honesty, hard work, and a good sense of humor.”

“My focus is on fun. While an executive position is a big responsibility and not something to be taken lightly, I think it’s important that student representatives make sure to make the UVSS as fun and welcoming as possible. I’m going to work as hard as I can to make that happen.” 

Hoping to make changes in Felicitas, implement events, and bring some big bands to play at UVic, Rhodes, like his fellow candidates, has strong vision for the future. 

Ariel Tseng, FuseUVicDirector of Finance and Operations Candidate
> Rachel Rasmussen 
Ariel Tseng, candidate for the Director of Finance and Operations, wishes to get students involved in this year’s election.
An Economics major and Women’s Studies minor, Tseng sees getting students invested in aspects of the UVSS as key.  “The UVSS encompasses a lot of activities and groups on campus, as well as administers the bus pass, health plan, and liaises with the University, local government, and B.C. transit. I think that most students care about at least a couple aspects of the UVSS.
 Personally, Tseng feels his organizational experience will give him an edge in this election.
“I would also really like to implement a good back end volunteer management system with External Relations candidate Lucia Orser because every year students sign up to volunteer for our campaigns and we don’t have an organized volunteer management system, and lose a lot of potential volunteers that way,” says Tseng.
This candidate views a good leader as someone who is apt at public speaking, and capable of mediating between different types of people.
“The number one quality is the ability to take initiative,” Tseng says. “Ambitious people who take initiative, who aren’t afraid of responsibility, and who have good work ethic are the ones who excel.”
Aside from politics, Tseng enjoys to kick back with a zombie flick or some Battlestar Galactica. He describes his main identity as that of a drummer. Joking that his path to becoming a musician led him to student politics instead, Tseng says he’ll “settle for writing election lyrics to the musical stylings of Bruno Mars.”
A skilled dancer at the club, look for this candidate tearing it up on the dance floor or rocking with a drum solo.

Ariel Tseng, FuseUVic
Director of Finance and Operations Candidate

> Rachel Rasmussen 

Ariel Tseng, candidate for the Director of Finance and Operations, wishes to get students involved in this year’s election.

An Economics major and Women’s Studies minor, Tseng sees getting students invested in aspects of the UVSS as key.

“The UVSS encompasses a lot of activities and groups on campus, as well as administers the bus pass, health plan, and liaises with the University, local government, and B.C. transit. I think that most students care about at least a couple aspects of the UVSS.

Personally, Tseng feels his organizational experience will give him an edge in this election.

“I would also really like to implement a good back end volunteer management system with External Relations candidate Lucia Orser because every year students sign up to volunteer for our campaigns and we don’t have an organized volunteer management system, and lose a lot of potential volunteers that way,” says Tseng.

This candidate views a good leader as someone who is apt at public speaking, and capable of mediating between different types of people.

“The number one quality is the ability to take initiative,” Tseng says. “Ambitious people who take initiative, who aren’t afraid of responsibility, and who have good work ethic are the ones who excel.”

Aside from politics, Tseng enjoys to kick back with a zombie flick or some Battlestar Galactica. He describes his main identity as that of a drummer. Joking that his path to becoming a musician led him to student politics instead, Tseng says he’ll “settle for writing election lyrics to the musical stylings of Bruno Mars.”

A skilled dancer at the club, look for this candidate tearing it up on the dance floor or rocking with a drum solo.

Lucia Orser, FuseUVicDirector of External Relations Candidate 
> Rachel Rasmussen
Lucia Orser, a fourth-year Women’s Studies major, is running both for the position of Director of External Relations and also to be a student representative on the Board of Governors. This is Orser’s second year with FuseUVIC, after successfully running for Director at Large last election.
Orser’s main concern this year is building relationships.  
“I hope that by building meaningful relationships with students more people will become engaged with the work of the society and bring their passions for social justice and sustainability organizing along with them,” she states. “I want to get people excited about the advocacy and lobbying work done within the student union.”
A passion for change and vision for the future, Orser has strong hopes for volunteer opportunities at UVic.
“I think we can get students engaged by developing a comprehensive Volunteer Recruitment System, working to expand our campaigns for transit and affordable education, and connecting with campus groups for action on sustainability,” she says.
When asked what qualities an individual must to possess to succeed, Orser answer with “a combination of creativity, hard work, and a firm handshake.”
Outside of the political realm, Orser names reproductive justice, tea, and the poetry of Mary Oliver among her passions. When asked what makes her stand out, Orser had this to say: “I asked a candidate from Vision UVic what I should say. They said, ‘Your hair, when you don’t have it up like that… Lets face it, when your hair is cascading around its pretty vibrant’. I liked that answer.”

Lucia Orser, FuseUVic
Director of External Relations Candidate 

> Rachel Rasmussen

Lucia Orser, a fourth-year Women’s Studies major, is running both for the position of Director of External Relations and also to be a student representative on the Board of Governors. This is Orser’s second year with FuseUVIC, after successfully running for Director at Large last election.

Orser’s main concern this year is building relationships.  

“I hope that by building meaningful relationships with students more people will become engaged with the work of the society and bring their passions for social justice and sustainability organizing along with them,” she states. “I want to get people excited about the advocacy and lobbying work done within the student union.”

A passion for change and vision for the future, Orser has strong hopes for volunteer opportunities at UVic.

“I think we can get students engaged by developing a comprehensive Volunteer Recruitment System, working to expand our campaigns for transit and affordable education, and connecting with campus groups for action on sustainability,” she says.

When asked what qualities an individual must to possess to succeed, Orser answer with “a combination of creativity, hard work, and a firm handshake.”

Outside of the political realm, Orser names reproductive justice, tea, and the poetry of Mary Oliver among her passions. When asked what makes her stand out, Orser had this to say: “I asked a candidate from Vision UVic what I should say. They said, ‘Your hair, when you don’t have it up like that… Lets face it, when your hair is cascading around its pretty vibrant’. I liked that answer.”

Emily Rogers, FuseUVicChairperson Candidate 
> Rachel Rasmussen
Emily Rogers is a third year Child and Youth Care major currently running for the position of Chairperson in the upcoming UVic Students’ Society (UVSS) election.
 When asked what she would bring to the table to help implement change in the political scene at UVic, Rogers expresses the necessity of listening to, and understanding, different perspectives.
“I can recognize the common threads between perspectives, am practiced at finding creative compromises and have strong mediation and negotiation skills,” she says. “I am able to see the big picture and determine what is relevant in a given situation.”
“A sense of humility is key,” she adds. “I understand politics, especially at the university level, to be an exercise in facilitation rather than a demonstration of power. In other words, a good leader empowers others.” Passionate in her answers, Rogers makes clear that “determination, commitment, confidence (balanced by a well-checked ego), a strong work ethic, a high capacity for empathy and a well grounded moral compass” are essential qualities for a leader to possess.
Rogers hopes to lift the focus a little off the political side of things and place it back down on “throwing awesome events, fighting for affordable education and improving our environmental practices.”
Rogers asserts a diverse string of passions, including but not limited to “the well being of families and children, mental health, environmental protection, sustainable practices and LGBTQ rights.”
Rogers keeps it light when asked what makes her stand out, with the exclamation “I have braces!” She can be seen around campus rocking said tooth apparel as she prepares both for jaw surgery, and the upcoming election. 

Emily Rogers, FuseUVic
Chairperson Candidate 

> Rachel Rasmussen

Emily Rogers is a third year Child and Youth Care major currently running for the position of Chairperson in the upcoming UVic Students’ Society (UVSS) election.

When asked what she would bring to the table to help implement change in the political scene at UVic, Rogers expresses the necessity of listening to, and understanding, different perspectives.

“I can recognize the common threads between perspectives, am practiced at finding creative compromises and have strong mediation and negotiation skills,” she says. “I am able to see the big picture and determine what is relevant in a given situation.”

“A sense of humility is key,” she adds. “I understand politics, especially at the university level, to be an exercise in facilitation rather than a demonstration of power. In other words, a good leader empowers others.”

Passionate in her answers, Rogers makes clear that “determination, commitment, confidence (balanced by a well-checked ego), a strong work ethic, a high capacity for empathy and a well grounded moral compass” are essential qualities for a leader to possess.

Rogers hopes to lift the focus a little off the political side of things and place it back down on “throwing awesome events, fighting for affordable education and improving our environmental practices.”

Rogers asserts a diverse string of passions, including but not limited to “the well being of families and children, mental health, environmental protection, sustainable practices and LGBTQ rights.”

Rogers keeps it light when asked what makes her stand out, with the exclamation “I have braces!” She can be seen around campus rocking said tooth apparel as she prepares both for jaw surgery, and the upcoming election.