Polls closing for UWSA election

Voter turn-out expected to increase with demographic shift, says elections commissioner

“We have a really solid slate of candidates running,” UWSA chief elections commissioner Andri Shchudlo says of the election that ends March 15. Christopher Clacio

Voting for the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) general election is ending on March 15 after a highly contested campaign, with three candidates seeking the top job of UWSA president, two candidates vying for vice president student services and three candidates facing off for vice president advocate, along with two contested directorships.

“We have a really solid slate of candidates running,” said Andri Shchudlo, chief elections commissioner for the UWSA, adding that he hopes to increase voter turn-out from last year’s election, which came in at just under 10 per cent of the student body.

Shchudlo added that, during the fall byelection, the elections commission saw a marked increase in the number of science students voting, which he considers a good sign that turn-out will increase from last year.

“For sure we’d like to get into the double digits. The record is 15 per cent … that was a year where there was five candidates running for president. It’ll be tough but we’d like to get somewhere near that level,” he said, adding that the budget for the election is approximately $5,500.

Despite extensive organization and polls in three of the main university buildings, Shchudlo confirmed March 12 that candidates have still experienced difficulty with putting up posters and other campaign materials in buildings other than the main campus, particularly in the Buhler Centre, where space is at a premium.

“One of the issues for sure is that there’s just not enough space, like in Buhler for sure there are no peg boards or anything provided,” he said, adding that increasing candidate visibility in other buildings will be part of his recommendations in his final report to the UWSA board.

The election results were not known at press time. However, watch for online coverage this weekend and read news assignment editor Ethan Cabel’s blog on the importance of voting at www.uniter.ca.

Also, stay tuned for extensive results coverage, as well as an exploration of a controversial election proposal, in the March 22 issue of The Uniter.

Published in Volume 66, Number 23 of The Uniter (March 14, 2012)

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