By Julieanne Acosta, January 31 2023—
The 2023 Students’ Union (SU) general elections are right around the corner — with nomination days starting next week from Feb. 6 to 8. Although voting isn’t until March 7 to 9, election campaigns and events occur all throughout the month.
Annually, the University of Calgary’s campus community votes in March for a new Student Legislative Council (SLC). The SLC is made up of 25 students that are elected for a one-year term and is comprised of the executive team — the president and four vice presidents, along with 20 faculty representatives.
The general election will also hold races for one Board of Governor’s representative and two Senate representatives.
From Feb. 6 to 8, students can expect to be asked to sign nomination packages as certain positions require a certain number of signatures. Executive positions need to obtain 150 signatures while Faculty, Senate and Board of Governors representatives are required to obtain 50 signatures. If a faculty has less than 750 undergraduate students enrolled in it, a student running for that faculty representative must only obtain 25 signatures.
Following this, from Feb. 28 to March 6, — excluding the weekend — students can watch the forums in the South Courtyard at noon to see the candidates discuss their campaigns and how they hope to help students if elected.
In a statement to the Gauntlet, the current SU discussed the importance of staying up to date on the general elections.
“Elections can seem long and tedious, but they are a great time to hear about what issues students are facing and what students themselves are proposing as potential solutions. This is your school and your campus and you have a right to use your voice to impact its future,” wrote the SU.
For those thinking of running, the SU shuts down common myths that candidates need to be a certain way and notes the qualities that candidates should embody.
“You don’t have to be an expert or an extrovert. You just need to be willing to learn and work with others for common goals,” wrote the SU. “If you’re hard-working, open to collaborating and want to be part of a team that makes an impact, that positive attitude and perseverance will serve you well.”
Working for the SU is no small feat, however, the SU emphasizes the opportunities that the SU provides to students that end up holding positions.
“Working at the SU is a leadership opportunity, but more than that a work experience,” wrote the SU. “You get a chance to be involved in planning and organizing events and advocacy efforts, learn about policy and governance, practice your communication skills, learn about social issues and challenges that face our community and gain experience in working as a team to do critical thinking and problem-solving.”
The general election ballot will also have a plebiscite question regarding the mandatory athletics fee. The answers to this plebiscite will help guide the SU’s advocacy efforts in the following term towards the university.
To learn more about the SU and the general elections, visit their website.