It’s past dark and Mitch Messom has just finished campaigning at Harrington Hall. There aren’t any potential voters around, so he keeps busy putting up campaign posters.
Messom recently resigned from his post as off-campus representative on the student union and is now vying for the job of VP Administration, left vacant by the resignation of Corben McLean.
This is Messom’s second vice-presidential campaign of the year.
He ran against Ella Henry in the spring for VP Education.
“My motivation was essentially that anything I could do as (off-campus rep) I could do better as vice president of administration,” Messom said.
The responsibility of the position hits a snag in Messom’s mind, as he explains why he wants to run for the job. Catching the slip, he corrects himself and explains he’s been tired. The position does have financial responsibility. If elected student money spent by the SU would be coming across his desk. Messom’s experience as the vice president of his army mess in downtown Fredericton contributed to his relationship with finance.
“I slightly enjoy it, slightly, almost sadistically”, he says. “Other people rely on you to be reliable.”
Reliability means being able to get the job done. Being VP Admin also means being the chair of the Finance and Governance committees.
“People have said, ‘are you as good as Corben (McLean)?’ No, because Corben has had practice,” said Messom. “Will I be as good as Corben in two months, in a month, or two weeks? That will be the real question, how fast I learn.”
Messom has had some practice addressing the pubic in the past.
A recent article he co-wrote sparked debate after he referred to the banning of bottled water as an “eco-fad”.
Messom showed no symptoms of foot-in-the mouth disease over this, stating if a motion was passed over bottled water the wording would be the dependent.
Restriction yes, an outright ban no.
“I believe students are smart enough to make their own decisions, that is it. That is fundamentally it,” he said.
Messom runs over ideas for what he would do in the position.
Education on renters’ insurance, postage stamps availability on campus, the services SU can provide are in the details he muses.
As he leaves the cafeteria he stops at another opposition poster. He doesn’t know who his opponent, Mary-Dan Johnson, is. At least he’s never talked with her. This poster claims she cuts red tape with a machete, words hand-written sharply across the paper.
“Red tape is good for finance,” says Messom, “it slows down people spending money.”
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