STUSU kicks off annual spring general election

    (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

    The St. Thomas University Students’ Union is gearing up for its annual spring general election to elect new members to the executive and other position vacancies for the 2023-24 academic year.

    Nominations opened on Feb. 24 and the committee is looking to fill the roles of the entire executive team currently held by graduating students. After only one of 11 roles was filled during the fall by-election, STUSU hoped for a larger turnout in nominations this time around. 

    Minahil Fatima, STUSU’s vice president of administration, encourages students to take part in the general election and vote. 

    “It’s a great way to get in touch with students who are able to advocate for [other] students,” said Fatima. 

    Students who put their names forward as candidates were required to have supporting nominations with their applications. Those seeking a role on the executive team took part in a meeting on March 3 to go over the campaigning process and ask questions.  

    Candidates will begin their campaigns during reading week and will last until March 13. STUSU encouraged online campaigning to remain environmentally friendly and reduce paper waste. 

    They will then participate in executive debates where current executive members will grill candidates on their ability to sit on STUSU. Students will also have a chance to watch the debates online. 

    Exact dates and times are to be determined. 

    Once STUSU’s chief returning officer (CRO), Carlos Arroyo Chévez, releases the list of candidates nominated on March 13, STUSU is hosting an informal meet-and-greet in James Dunn Hall. 

    “Candidates can talk to each other, get to know each other and talk to the executives as well,” said Fatima. 

    While the election will run business as usual, there is one major change from past years. 

    Last spring, controversy surrounded the election when some students were unable to vote for valedictorian, which resulted in allegations of voter fraud and the resignation of Victoria Young, that year’s valedictorian and STUSU’s vice president of student life. 

    “The only difference is that the valedictorian position is now selected by the university,” says Fatima. 

    Related: Valedictorian selection process changes for this graduating class

    Related: Graduating STU students speak out about inability to vote for valedictorian, by-election scheduled

    The voting period begins on March 14, while final results will be released on March 15. The 34-hour voting period will be advertised to all students through social media and email, who are encouraged to view the debates and send in their votes.