After five days of campaigning and an hour-long debate against his opponent, Matt Oram was elected vice-president administration by a slim margin of 18 votes in a byelection on March 20.
Oram was at the Cellar Pub for supper with friends from the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University when Husoni Raymond, current vice-president administration, called to tell him the news.
“I haven’t felt that good in a while … it feels good to know students believe in you,” Oram said.
After nobody ran for the position in the STUSU general election in late February, both Oram and second-year student Tyrique Hamil decided to run for the position in March.
Oram said he didn’t run the first time because he was busy with seminars and papers. But when he saw the second call for vice-president administration, he signed up.
“I said to myself, ‘This is a great opportunity for myself to be involved … and help the student body as a whole.'”
Handing out flyers, putting up posters and knocking on people’s residence room doors to explain his platform paid off – 232 people voted for him, giving him the win. Fifty-two people abstained.
Oram ran on a platform of three points. The vice-president administration position juggles human resource tasks, manages the budget and oversees clubs and societies. He said he wants to enhance transparency and further initiatives, prioritize access to student resources and develop student friendly policies and review pre-existing ones.
He said the position was the most interesting to him because of his major in economics and his interest in dealing with budgets.
“I wanted to do this to be there for the students and on behalf of students, and I want to make sure their voices are being heard and their concerns are being raised,” Oram said.
He said one of the most important responsibilities of being the vice-president administration is interacting with the student union and students about anything concerning his position.
“I just want to keep doing the job Husoni [Raymond] did because I think he did a great job this year.”
Oram is part of the Student Advisory Committee, which was formed by Raymond this academic year. It’s made up of a group of students who were available by request to advise their peers on how to resolve conflicts with the university. These include anything relating to non-academic misconduct, residence issues, student employment and academics.
In high school, Oram was on leadership committees, the treasury committee and he played sports. He said he doesn’t have much experience with student union budgets, but he’s pursuing a major in economics.
“Vice-president administration isn’t focusing on stocks and that type of stuff, but I do feel that budget-wise that is the basis of economics so [it] definitely helps.”
Oram said he’s excited to start with the new team. He knows Raymond and vice-president education-elect Ailish Mackenzie-Foley from Moot Court. He also lived in residence last year with Mackenize-Foley and vice-president student life-elect Sarah Kohut.
He said he’s ready to take on more work next year.
“I feel that I can make a difference within the student union and the school as a whole by being within the executive team,” Oram said. “They did a great job this year… and I just want to continue that and keep on advocating on behalf of students.”
Oram will begin his work as vice-president administration on May 1.