BY JOSH BURY
Students will head to the polls this week to elect the Conestoga Students Inc. board of directors for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Voting takes place this week online. It will be accessible through a link in an email to school email addresses that will be sent by CSI. Each student can select up to eight candidates on their ballot.
No current directors are running, and the only current member of the board returning is vice-president-elect Cameron Jones. Jones served as vice-chair initially, and then transitioned to chair after the resignation of former chair Paul Oniga. He was elected to the new vice-president position earlier this month.
Directors must be full-time students during their term as directors. Some current directors are graduating from their respective programs, so they are ineligible to return unless they decide to apply to a new program.
Others, like Jaclyn Wingfield, are choosing not to run again despite being eligible to do so.
“I have co-op terms during what would be two of my three terms as a board member. I feel that I wouldn’t be available enough to students, which is a large portion of being a board member. Even though I could be a great board member in other capacities, I’d rather the spot be open to others who can really be there for students,” Wingfield said.
“Let someone else have the opportunity to fully be in the position,” she added.
Candidates were allowed to begin their campaigns last week and will be allowed to continue campaigning this week.
As part of their campaigns, the candidates were given 100 prints for campaign posters that were paid for by CSI.
Other rules for candidates included following the student code of conduct and conducting an independent campaign free of collusion with the other candidates.
Candidates also had to adhere to the college’s posting rules, which meant no more than 20 posters per campus, and that the posters had to be spaced at least 30 metres apart.
Spoke reached out to the candidates for some brief comments about their platforms.
“I’ve already been actively involved in student life on campus to the point where I’ve exhausted everything I can do for my fellow Condors at this level,” wrote candidate Katie S. Turriff.
For candidate Michelle Graves, a priority will be “making stronger connections and relationships between the students and their board of directors. I believe the students should know who their board of directors is and what they do in their position and how it relates to Conestoga College.”
Andrew Leaman, another candidate, also emphasized the importance of communication.
“I want to show (students) everything CSI has to offer in an effort to make their college experience even better than it already is and help make their voice heard should they have any concerns or ideas for change,” wrote Jake Reay.
One prevalent theme in the responses was the commitment to improve school spirit.
“My top priority is the improvement of school spirit to bring better value to students,” wrote Zoey Ross.
Carol Stares agreed, saying her “top priority for next year is to increase school spirit. School spirit can improve students’ college experience and create endless memories that they can carry with them for a lifetime.”
In his discussions with students, candidate Brian Clark said he found that “people aren’t interacting outside their respective programs, so my main priority for next year will be to implement more social activities based upon what the students enjoy.”
Asked what his words to the new board at their first meeting would be, candidate Alfred Paul Karathra replied “a house is built by hands, a home is built by hearts.”
And as students now head to the polls, they’ll have the chance to decide exactly what kind of home that will be.