New SAMRU governors, low voters
Low turnout for SAMRU Governors’ election
By Riley Nerbas, Staff Writer
The elections for the new student governing board came and went with a jarring total of 511 students voting, about 22 per cent of the eligible voters at Mount Royal University.
The newly elected governors are: Olga Barcelo, Cordelia Snowdon (retuning), Ed Hale, Amanda VanNest, Nathan Lawley (returning), Aaron Horne, Priyanka Dutt, Andrew Nguyen and Alex Wright.
These individuals are responsible for making funding decisions for the future of Mount Royal University such as building expansions needed in the future.
The elections were held on Oct. 16-17. Jason Droboth, board speaker, hopes to see more participation from the student body in future elections as he believes the results make a very large impact.
“The Student Governing Board is arguably the most influential body in the direction of the Students’ Association,” says Droboth.
The election was overseen by Shauna Hunter, who has returned to the position of Chief Returning Officer for elections for the eighth straight year. Hunter has worked outside of MRU for provincial and federal elections as well as Presiding Deputy Returning Officer in municipal elections.
“Voter turnout was low. Of 11,231 eligible voters, 511 votes were cast,” Hunter says.
The elections for the Governors and the Representation Executive Council (REC) used to occur together during the winter semester but switched last year. The Governor elections now happen in the fall while the REC elections continue to happen in the spring or winter semester.
These changes may have had an impact on the low voter turnout for the elections. Voting has also moved online rather than by paper ballot, resulting in greater responsibility on the individual to vote.
“Last year marked the first time all votes were done online,” Hunter says.
“Interest on the Student Governor election tends to be much lower than the executive election, although the highest ever voter turnout for an executive election was 23.2 per cent,” she added.
The new governors elected are preparing for the new adventures ahead in leading their student body into the future.
“The board is most concerned with training, integrating and empowering the new board members, so that the board can quickly become more informed and empowered in working for the benefit of the students,” says Drobroth.
The future activities of the Governing Board members involve events held around the Mount Royal campus. The Governors will be seen supporting clubs and events put on by students for students. They will also be active in the Annual Governors Meeting.
“It is incredibly important that students come to this meeting to better become involved in SAMRU,” says Drobroth.
The current AGM meeting has been postponed, with a new date being planned for the near future.