STUSU Briefs — Oct. 16

By-election voter turnout cut in half

Voter turnout at last week’s by-elections was down more than half from last year. Voter turnout for the by-election was 271 compared to last year’s 587. There were also a lot of students running unopposed for positions. Students were able to vote online again this year.

Off-campus committee will now pay their Welcome Week dues

The council voted a unanimous yes on Thursday night to have the off-campus committee pay for its own Welcome Week costs just like all the other residences. This meant moving the $1,200 charge from the Welcome Week 2014 account to the off-campus account. The off-campus balance is now $800. The off-campus committee is given a budget of $2,000 per year from the union.

Talk of this change has been on the table since early September, but the off-campus representatives were not chosen until last week. All four of the new off-campus representatives were present for the vote.

Each residence is given money to pay for its own Welcome Week activities. Last year, the off-campus committee did not elect a representative so there was no one this summer to take care of it. It was decided that off-campus-specific (not including events for the whole school) Welcome Week expenses would come out of the Welcome Week budget. Now, the off-campus Welcome Week expenses will be taken out of the off-campus budget.

STUSU donates $1,000 to debate team

At the STUSU meeting on Thursday, the council approved a $1,000 donation to 10 students to travel to Massachusetts for the Mute Court debate in late November. It was passed unanimously.

The donation will come out of the academic assistance line of the union budget, which helps to fund travel and conference fees for students. So far this year, before the $1,000 charge, only $300 had been spent on this academic assistance line.

This will be the first time St. Thomas University will participate in the debate and STU is the only school in Canada to be participating in the Mute Court. The Mute Court team was also approved as an actual class on Thursday and not just an independent study. The council seemed to think in the future, STU might eventually have a pre-law program, and this mute court team could be the first step towards that.

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