Meet the candidates: Vice-president administration

    Findlay McKay-Boyce

    Findlay McKay-Boyce (Submitted)

    Year: Third
    Major: Honours in history, minor in political science
    Hometown: Rothesay, N.B.
    STUSU experience: N/A

    Students first, money second

    Findlay McKay-Boyce is running for vice-president administration and says if he is elected, he will cut the STUSU deficit.

    “We have been having a deficit for the last few years,” he said. “We need to look at what reserves we don’t need and using that money for things people actually need, like emergency bursaries. If people come to us and say they need an emergency bursary, we shouldn’t be saying, ‘Oh sorry, we’re in a deficit.’ People come first, money comes second.”

    The STUSU isn’t actually running a deficit – just a projected deficit.

    Monthly statements make it look like there’s a deficit of $7,879 but the STUSU often doesn’t spend everything it projects to spend, resulting in a surplus rather than a deficit.

    If there was a deficit, McKay-Boyce would reduce it by cutting out programs and services that students don’t use or want.

    “I look at the budget and may see something that may not be important to me but I don’t know how many people it is important to. I don’t know what a Vanier girl wants, I’ll never be a Vanier girl. I don’t know what single mothers want,” he said.

    McKay-Boyce said that’s where student consultations come in.

    “I would hold town-hall meetings in the fall, go through every residence and talk to the clubs and societies to get feedback from as many students as possible,” he said. “So when it comes time to make decisions about what we’re going to cut, it won’t be what means the most to students.”

    McKay-Boyce said he is happy with St. Thomas as a student overall, but there are some things he would change if elected.

    “I would like to see more community involvement and engagement, to see the community and students working together.”

    McKay-Boyce’s platform also revolves around increasing student awareness about clubs and societies.

    Megan Aiken

    Megan Aiken (Shane Magee/AQ)

    Year: Second
    Major: Political science
    Hometown: Florenceville, N.B.
    STUSU experience: N/A

    Aiken aims to bridge gap between union, students

    If elected as vice-president administration, Megan Aiken would be conservative with the students’ union’s budget.

    She said a deficit will likely happen without proper budgeting because of increasing fees such as the CASA fee the union pays.

    “Conservatism definitely needs to be practiced,” she said.

    Aiken plans to avoid running a deficit by finding ways to minimize cuts and minimize fee increases.

    “I want to make it so it’s just a dollar here and a dollar there, and that will make a difference,” she said.

    Aiken would look to combine campus jobs that only offer a few hours a week to save money.

    “Wages can’t go down with the union,” she said. “Mark Livingstone is barely making minimum wage so there’s really not a lot you can cut.”

    Aiken said she doesn’t want to increase fees but if necessary, she thinks a small increase would help the union avoid a deficit.

    “Students pay $108 right now [for the STUSU fee] and we have 2,500 students at St. Thomas,” she said. “Bumping that fee to $110 would help a lot. It’s only $2, it’s not a lot, but it would bring in a lot of money.”

    Aiken would also like to see some changes in the way the students’ union interacts with the STU community.

    “No one really knows what the roles of the executive are. I would like to build a strong relationship between the union and the students. No one knows what’s going on and I want to change that,” she said.

    She said a weekly newsletter about what the union is doing would help bridge the gap.