Monday, December 11, 2017

Camosun College Student Society elections bring in new student representatives, referendum goes through

November 18, 2015 by Jayden Grieve, contributing writer

The Camosun College Student Society (CCSS) student bi-elections were held on Wednesday, October 28 and Thursday, October 29.

Huy Ho, Carlos Suarez Rubio, Kimberley Banfield, and Gavin Howie were elected as directors at large for the Lansdowne campus, while Bobby Tiet, Vikas Verma, Mehtab Saluja, and Ellen Young were elected as Interurban campus directors at large.

Chris Marks was elected as Interurban executive, Darwin Scott was elected as international director, and Mark Rosini was elected as sustainability director.

CCSS external executive Andrea Eggenberger says each new wave of executives brings fresh ideas to the table.

“We get them oriented and make sure they know everything to do with the society and all their responsibilities, and then we start building ideas,” says Eggenberger. “The newly elected board members always bring a lot of excitement, and I’m really excited to get into all of their ideas.”

A student voting at the recent Camosun College Student Society elections at Lansdowne campus (photo by Greg Pratt/Nexus).

A student voting at the recent Camosun College Student Society elections at Lansdowne campus (photo by Greg Pratt/Nexus).

Rosini says that the election was very exciting for him.

“It felt great,” he says. “It was really quite a moment because I won by 11 votes, and the other person running was my friend from the same class. We were like, ‘Yeah, we can just work together to implement our ideas.’”

Rosini says that he will be teaming up with CSEA (Camosun Students for Environmental Awareness) to work toward making the campuses greener.

One project that he hopes to work on is helping to provide better transit options to those coming to Camosun from Langford and Colwood.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to make an actual change,” says Rosini. “I haven’t done a lot of organizing in the past, but I think I’m ready for it now. I don’t feel overwhelmed by it. These are all things I’m very interested in and want to get involved in.”

Likewise, Naomi Arato (who ran unopposed, so became the off-campus director by default) feels passionate about her new duties (Arato represents students at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, a Camosun satellite campus).

“It’s a great opportunity; it feels like I can actually have input and see what’s going on behind the scenes and be more involved,” she says. “I have more say and, in turn, the students on my campus have more say; a lot of people forget about the off-campus students, which bothers me a lot.”

Arato plans to make sure the students at the Victoria Conservatory of Music are well represented; she says everyone on the board has been very helpful so far.

“I’ve never done anything like this, so I was really nervous and worried I was in over my head, but they’ve been really great,” she says. “I’ve been to a couple meetings where I’ve been really inspired by them.”

Eggenberger says that the voter turnout this year was good, with 490 out of 8,400 students (5.83 percent of the student body) voting. The election ballot also had a referendum question on it that asked if students are in support of helping to bring a refugee student to study at Camosun. It passed, with 83.58 percent of students voting in favour of the idea, which will add 44 cents per month to each student’s student fees.

“The team that put that together, which was a class at the Lansdowne campus, really pushed it very hard,” says Eggenberger. “That’s why it passed with such flying colors.”

Eggenberger says that while the student society does do a lot of fun events, they are also very serious when it comes to making sure students get everything they need on campus.

“We ensure that students know about their services,” says Eggenberger, “so we are all very informed about things like the U-Pass or the medical services plan, and even when we don’t know all the details we know who to direct students to. We make sure that they’ve got really good student life on campus.”

See camosunstudent.org for more info on the elections and the CCSS.

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