Voter turnout took a major decline in the most recent student elections. Students’ were asked to elect the Brock University Students’ Administrative Council for the 2019/2020 year; however it was the referendums that took centre stage.
Only 22.4 per cent of the undergraduate population took to their Brock email accounts to cast their ballot between March 26 and 28. The March elections do tend to see a decrease of voters as February’s Executive Elections had a record 36.7 per cent voter turnout.
The two referendums students were asked about were the transfer of a $2.75 per credit fee from the Brock Student Support Centre (A Safer Brock) to fund an on-campus sexual violence education and support service provider, and the creation of a $36.50 per credit levy to begin the process of a new Brock University Students’ Union building.
Over the last couple years BUSU’s higher ups have been seeking more space with an increased number of clubs, marketing team members and students asking for more study space. The current building was built in 1990 when the student population was 5,500. With an increased enrollment above 18,000, BUSU made the argument that the current 30,000 square-feet building is no longer sufficient in supporting the number of students.
Of the number of undergraduates you voted 2,091 of the 3,556 (63.9 per cent) were in favour of a new building.
BUSU won’t begin collecting the fee until the 45,000 square feet Student Centre is opened and it is predicted to take about 12 years to pay off the building.
The building will be used for more study space, an on-campus pharmacy, a larger general store, a multi-faith prayer space and more. BUSU has yet to announce the exact location of the building, but more details are expected to be released with the referendum now passed.
Students also passed the Sexual Violence Support and Education Levy Transfer, with 2,481 voters (78.2 per cent) being in favour of the fee transfer. The $2.75 per credit fee will now go towards an on-campus service provider that will help students with a number of sexual violence concerns.
The focus of the provider will be to give students drop-in support with no appointment needed, increased trauma-informed counselling on-campus, court support, workshops and more.
BUSAC’s 16 At-Large Councillors were determined as well with Ben Johnson being re-elected with the most votes at 1,329.
These councillors will sit in on bi-weekly meetings and work together to govern the decisions made by BUSU Executives. Specifically, they’ll govern political policies, club funding, by-laws and more.
The other 15 elected councillors are: David Bisong (1,101 votes), Emily Wright (1,024 votes), Jessica Beaupre (1,006 votes), Luisa Vizcaino (926 votes), Delasi Afenu (865 votes), Yasmine Hejazi (841 votes), Aseel Mohamed (835 votes), Tia Rahmoun (798 votes), Andrew Park (788 votes), Priyanka Dhiman (716 votes), Marissa Goulart (706 votes), Marcus Fluellon (700 votes), Faten Darbaj (694 votes), Aaron Menon (654 votes) and Anodya Malliyawadu (602 votes).