*** The Print Publication of The Brock Press states referendums for the Student Justice Centre (SJC) and for the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG). The below article is the correct information, as referendums for February 2019 are Brock Radio and Ombuds. ***
Why you should vote
February, in one way, is the start to a new year for Brock University Students’ Union. The month brings the annual executive elections, which allows the student body to elect its 2018-19 BUSU executives. These elections bring forth student’s election a creative force, policy-maker and platform that will directly affect the lives of student’s during their time at Brock University and beyond.
Over the last few years, BUSU executive elections have continuously broken voter turnout records. February 2018 saw 35.3 per cent of Brock student’s vote, which was a record.
Students can easily cast their votes for the elections, by logging into their Brock student e-mail, where links to a ballot will be sent. Students will have three-days to cast their ballot, which should only take a few minutes of their time – it is encouraged to read each candidates platform points, so an educated vote is made.
These elections hold a lot of responsibility to each student at Brock, as every student is a member of BUSU. Previous elections have included topics such as transit, affordable food, affordable education, student services and event offerings – this year funding for Brock Radio and for Ombuds are up for voting and can have an impact not only on student fees, but also the future of these student groups.
Next week, when you vote for Senate, Director of the BUSU Board of Directors, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Vice President of External Affairs, Vice President of Student Services and the BUSU President, you’re not just choosing who will fill the position, you’re shaping the future of the student experience at Brock University for years to come.
The role of the President of BUSU is to act as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the union. As expected, there are a number of responsibilities that intersect with both the representatives within BUSU, as well as on the exterior. For example, the President’s responsibilities include maintaining contact with other post-secondary institutions, businesses and organizations, while also acting as a liaison between BUSU and the Board of Trustees, Administration, and Faculty Association. The role of the President involves a great deal of collaboration with BUSU General Manager Robert Hilson, as the President works in conjunction with Hilson on the creation of the Division 1 budget, ensuring the organization has a functioning strategic plan, in addition to consulting him on legal, financial, and management related matters of the Corporation. As to be expected in a president’s role, there is a great deal of involvement as a representative in different forms. Examples of this include sitting on the BUSU Board of Directors, being an ex-officio member of all standing and ad-hoc committees of BUSAC and representing BUSU as an active member of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). Finally, the duties of the President also entail the enforcement of the rules of the Letters of Patent, Supplementary Letters Patent and the Constitution, Bylaws, and Policy and Procedures of BUSU; they must report all activities undertaken on behalf of BUSU at all regular meetings and have signing authority on all accounts in existence for the use of BUSU. All of these responsibilities combined make up the requirements of the position, in addition to providing direction and leadership for the advancement of the Union.
Vice President, Student Services (VPSS)
The Vice President of Student Services (VPSS), is the person in charge of many of the events and programming that take place for students. They are very visible as they are to engage the student body via social media platforms and act as a brand ambassador for BUSU, while also collaborating with University departments such as Athletics, Student Life, International Student Services, and Residence to strengthen student engagement and offer events and programming to enhance the student experience. In addition, their broad set of responsibilities includes administering and supervising things such as O-Week, Homecoming, Wellness Initiatives and Frost Week. Further, they also play a part in overseeing the clubs portfolio and act as the Chair of the Clubs Policy Committee, while also working with the Student Life Coordinator on volunteer initiatives. Finally, the VPSS is to provide support to the Partnership Manager to bring in sponsors for various events and report all activities undertaken on behalf of BUSU at all regular meetings of BUSAC.
Vice President, Finance & Administration (VPFA)
The Vice President of Finance and Administration (VPFA), in other words, acts as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of BUSU. They are to work in direct contact with BUSU’s General Manager with a focus on enforcing the aspects regarding the Financial Policies of BUSU. Similar to the President, the VPFA is also involved in the creation of the Division 1 budget. They have the responsibility of overseeing a few different entities, mainly the BUSU Health and Dental Plan portfolio and the Transit Portfolio while also acting as one of BUSU’s signing officers that is responsible for signing cheques and invoices on a weekly basis. The VPFA also represents BUSU in the Brock Senate. Some notable duties of the individual in this role include reporting all activities undertaken on behalf of BUSU at all regular meetings of BUSAC and pursuing revenue generating endeavours that may be used to support additional student services. Finally, as Chair of the Finance, Planning and Sustainability Committee they must present a finalized budget to BUSAC.
Vice President, External Affairs (VPEA)
The Vice President of External Affairs (VPEA) is the main representative of BUSU outside of the Brock community in relations with organizations such as other post-secondary educational institutions, provincial post-secondary and federal post-secondary education lobby groups, Non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), and all levels of government. In this role, they are an advocate and representative in a number of different facets with a goal of advancing the interests of the Brock student community. This includes representing BUSU as a member of the OUSA and CASA along with the President. As with all positions, they are to report all of their activities undertaken on behalf of BUSU at all regular meetings of BUSAC. Some of these activities may include representing BUSU To work to increase the engagement of students in the political process, developing and delivering an advocacy campaign schedule that is impactful, accurate in information and is fiscally responsible, building upon BUSU’s Internal Policy Library and working in conjunction with the Director of Government Operations to hire the advocacy and research portfolio team.