By Sean Willett, June 22 2017 —
Two appointments were approved to fill vacant Students’ Union positions during the June 20 meeting of the Students Legislative Council. Anayat Sidhu was appointed as senate representative and Megan Tak Sum Leung was appointed as Werklund School of Education representative.
Both appointees were selected by the SU’s Nominations Committee, which evaluates applicants for vacant positions and recommends a candidate to SLC.
“The Nominations Committee solicits, accepts and reviews applications, then they create a subcommittee to sit down and review a short list of candidates,” said SU president Branden Cave. “Then they send that all back to the Nominations Committee, which deliberates and makes a recommendation to SLC.”
Students selected by the Nominations Committee do not serve a full term as representatives. After a byelection in October, both appointees will be replaced by representatives elected by the student body. Appointees can run for their position in the byelection.
“If we have a vacancy over the summer, picking an appointee gives us time to lay some of the groundwork for that position,” Cave said. “But in the past, we’ve seen a lot of appointees run for the position in the byelection because they’ve got their feet under them and want to keep going.”
After former senate representative Julie Le resigned in May, the SU had three vacancies to fill. The position of social work representative did not receive any applications and will remain vacant. Cave recognizes that representative positions for professional faculties are traditionally harder to fill and hopes that targeted advertising will encourage more students to run.
“Because of practicums, heavy course loads and the distance from campus, we find [professional faculty positions] are vacant more often than others,” he said. “I think a lot of it stems from students not knowing if they can adequately do the job, or even have enough time. But we have found in the past that we do have very engaged reps from those faculties. So it’s about getting them to understand that, yes, this is something you can completely achieve.”