Your vote matters in SAITSA’s board of directors election

SAITSA is encouraging students to vote for who they want to represent them in the upcoming Board of Directors (BOD) election.

“Your vote is important because as a SAITSA fee paying member, you have the right to decide who represents you,” said Alysson Torres-Gillett, the Vice-President Academic for SAITSA.

“We want to elect people who care and want to make a difference.”

Rachel Paris, Manager of Governance and Advocacy for SAITSA, describes a board member as someone who is a steward of the organization.

“They look out for the best interests for the membership. They will make decisions on behalf of the membership that has selected them and will make decisions that are best for that body and also the organization as a whole,” Paris said.

The election began on Tuesday, Sept. 5, when the nomination process opened to the student body. Candidates were able to enter the race up until Wednesday, Sept. 27, when the last nomination period closed.

“You don’t want to vote for just anybody. You should vote because you want to search for those quality people. Maybe track them down in the hallways and ask them what are they about, how are they going to try and represent peoples interests as a whole?” said Mitchell Holt, the current chair of the BOD.

Last years election was presented with a low candidate turn out, with only 12 people running for one of the 15 spots on the board.

In this scenario, students were asked to give a “yes or no” vote to the few candidates who were in the running.

“Out of the 15 positions that needed to be filled, only eight were filled,” Torres-Gillet said.

Voter turnout across the student union and student association is relatively low, with SAIT’s voter turnout typically in the seven per cent to 10 per cent range, says Paris.

“That’s not really a good representation because a lot of votes do come from the school of business. So they’re voting in who they want, which is good for them, but if those people who are elected aren’t necessarily good for everyone else, then everyone’s just not being well represented when your voter turn out is that low,” said Paris.

The voting process is done electronically and is easily accessible to SAIT students through their email.

“As long as there’s 16 people or more running, lets say there’s 20 people who run, you would select the top 15 that you would want elected. But you don’t have to choose 15. If you felt like you only wanted to select 10 then you could just select the 10 you wanted,” Paris said.

When choosing your representatives, look for students who are knowledgeable, have realistic goals and a passion for bettering your student experience. – Alysson Torres-Gillet

SAITSA will also have three polling stations set up on campus to promote the voting process to those who are unaware, as well as encourage those who have not cast their vote online yet.

“When choosing your representatives, look for students who are knowledgeable, have realistic goals and a passion for bettering your student experience,” Torres-Gillett said.

The voting period will begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4, and will close at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5.

About Samantha Cashin 3 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Samantha Cashin worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2017-18 academic year.