Alex Roberts
Alex Roberts
February 27, 2019

Why you should vote in student elections

Elected Student Union representatives make important decisions in the SUB | Photo by Jessé Moura

We’ve all come to know at least one UNB Student Union member during our time at UNB. But do you know what they do outside of organizing UNB’s lavish events, providing support programs and advocating on behalf of students?

Elected Student Union representatives sit on many decision-making bodies at the university. The UNBSU executives are directly involved in voicing the interests of UNB’s student body. Most recently, the Student Union has heavily participated in the discussions surrounding on-campus alcohol and smoking policies.

At UNB, elected Student Union representatives have access to a $1.8 million budget that they allocate towards various projects focused on the improvement of student life. The Student Union budgets funding for concerts and events, social services (such as SafeRide and their online printing services), ratified clubs and societies and many other student-led initiatives. As a student at UNB, your vote goes towards choosing the representatives that will fund initiatives in your best interest.

Elected Student Union representatives create new and innovative supporting positions to employ all types of students across campus. The UNBSU currently employs over 20 students in part-time and full-time positions. New positions were created just this year to increase representation in areas such as campus events, communications and marketing, supporting the vision of this year’s Executive and improving overall student life. Your vote is used to ensure your time at UNB is supported by the most qualified individuals.

The Student Union and their representatives have a hand in almost everything that happens on campus, including O-Week, poster fairs, student services, club and society events, concerts, mental health initiatives, sexual assault prevention, and major decisions that are made on campus. Therefore it is crucial that you elect a representative that you can trust and that will be transparent with you about all campus activities.

The Student Union is also your connection to other governments. SU representatives frequently meet with provincial and federal ministers to discuss the interests of UNB students. They strive to coordinate events and create lasting relationships with Canadian officials. For example, most recently the SU advocated for the free tuition program to be maintained in New Brunswick after Ontario cancelled their own provincial program.

All this information may seem irrelevant to you as one single student at UNB. In reality, the choices that UNB Student Union representatives make will affect you and your experience at UNB. So, if you want to see changes, or want to create a strong system of students who you trust to handle your money and interests, then you need to vote. No questions asked: you have the right to vote, make sure you exercise it. Get to know the candidates, ask questions, do your research, and make your voice heard by voting in your UNB Student Union general elections. If one vote can make a difference, then make sure it’s yours.

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