Showdown: 2013 elections debates

Students have now had the chance to read about all 20 candidates running in the 2013/2014 BUSU Executive Elections and perhaps hear a little bit about why they are running and what they hope to do if they get elected. But before students head to the polls to elect the next edition of the Brock University Students’ Union, be sure to find out as much information about your candidates as possible.
This year there are many more names being put forward in the race for an executive position within BUSU. Now elections candidates can only hope that their voters will follow suit, with more than the usual number of casting ballots.
A main concern and primary issue here at Brock is that a large majority of students don’t really pay attention to annual student elections, nor do they vote.
Typically, voter turnout hovers at about 18 per cent of the student population, which has been noted by Jimmy Norman – Chief Returning Officer of the Elections. It’s a number he would like to see significantly increase in 2013, given that BUSU plays a large part on campus and in the lives of all students who attend Brock. The students’ union provides a variety of programs, opportunities, more than 200 on campus student jobs, student services such Foot Patrol and co-ordinating better public transit. They work to encourage and enhance undergraduate students’ experience during their time here at Brock. BUSU also offers bursaries and emergency loans, and runs the University’s food bank, making them central leaders of the school. It’s important for students to take the time to get to know the individuals they wish to see sitting down and making these large decisions for the rest of the student body.
Campaigning is already underway, with candidates wooing voters by setting up information tables in Mackenzie Chown A-block and Academic South. Candidate debates began on Feb 5, the first was held in Decew Cafeteria and started at noon. The second debate was held on Feb. 7, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the 13th floor boardroom. The debate was streamed live through Brock TV, where the archived video can be currently found and viewed. Seating space limited the live audience to the first 30 people who had shown up to the debate, so all others were asked to watch online.
The third and final debate happened on Feb. 11 in Isaac’s, which began at noon and provided much more room for a live audience. There was quite a large turn out of students who were looking to hear more about the candidates as they futher explained their platforms, rebuttled against one anothers responses and ultimately tried to convince their fellow peers that they are best suited for the position they’re running for.
For those who couldn’t attend, the debate will also be archived on the Brock TV website: www.brocktv.ca/
Polls open online on Tuesday, Feb. 12 and close Thursday, Feb. 14 at 9 p.m. Students will receive an email from BUSU Elections with a secure link to their individual online ballot.
In addition to choosing a new executive council to represent them for the next year, students will also be voting on a referendum question. They will be asked whether they support spending an extra $2.75-fee per credit to fund and support the Brock Student Sexual Violence Support Centre.
To learn more about the election, candidates and referendum, visit the BUSU office, check them out online www.busu.net/ or email Norman at cro@busu.net.

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