Co-ordinators of the upcoming Dalhousie Student Union election are reaching out to voters on university’s five campuses – not just those in Halifax.
One of the key issues facing this year’s Dalhousie Student Union election is the lack of representation for other Dalhousie campuses in Nova Scotia Dalhousie is composed of the Studley, Charleton, Sexton campuses in Halifax, along with the agricultural campus in Truro, and a nursing campus in Yarmouth.
“One of our big focuses this year was agriculture campus and how we want to reach out to those students,” said Sep Rassi, chief returning officer.
“This is a new thing. The last few years they didn’t have any debates in the agriculture campus and in some of the elections, it was the case that agriculture students couldn’t vote.”
This year’s election is especially important for agricultural students, who are facing a proposed 18 per cent increase in their tuition over the next three years, according to the university’s budget advisory committee proposal. This would be in addition to a three per cent increase university-wide.
For the first time, there will be two debates held at the Truro campus. There will also be debates held at the Sexton campus on Barrington Street, where engineering students are facing a proposed 15 per cent tuition increase over three years.
“We hope that the elected candidates will join us in the fight against proposed tuition increases,” said Robyn McCallum, president of the Dalhousie Agricultural Students’ Association.
McCallum commends the election team for including the Truro campus.
All Dalhousie and University of King’s College students are eligible to vote in this year’s election, which runs March 14-16. This year’s election will be done through designated ballot stations on each campus.
Every Dalhousie student is represented by the student union. The DSU’s job is to advocate on behalf of students, provide services and support societies on campus.
Rassi said the DSU president and board of governor’s representative have big jobs because they have to fight against tuition hikes.
“That’s a big deal for all of the students,” he said.
“We have a new sexual harassment phone line … It’s going to be the new (vice president internal) to decide if they want to go with the new phone line or not.”
There are 44 council members who each represent different areas of the student body, ensuring that different voices are heard from across campus.
Elections for the Dalhousie Agricultural Students’ Association have already taken place, but this year there will be two DSU elections planned for the campus. Students at the Truro campus and Yarmouth campus will be able to vote in the election.
There are no current representatives for either campus in the DSU.
“It’s going to be a good thing if you can have representation from different campuses,” said Rassi. “This could be something for next year.”