Choosing a president
September 25 and 26 are crucial days for University of Regina students. As you may well be aware, in the middle of summer, our University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) President quit. Over these two days, we will cast our vote for a new President. This leads to an obvious question: what do we, the students, want in a President?
Besides the obvious expectation that our President sticks around for a full year, we all may see this issue from a different vantage point. There are several things I believe any strong candidate must possess: tact, passion, and a vision for the future. These three traits are critical to being a successful URSU President.
Tact, defined as a keen sense of what is appropriate, is absolutely crucial for any President. Our Students’ Union is designed to lobby governments, administration and other bodies on a variety of issues. Therefore, our President can be characterized as the lead spokesperson of the University of Regina students. Our leader must know what to say, and how loud to say it, in order to ensure a successful conclusion to any campaign launched in our name.
It is rather hard to get in front of the Premier of Saskatchewan and demand anything if the passion isn’t present. This makes having passion a prerequisite to being the URSU President. I excluded an understanding of economics and fiscal responsibility as requirements. For these are not incumbent on our President. Rather, our Students’ Union is configured to ignore these concepts and pursue an ideological agenda with little regard to finances. Therefore, it is a passion for students’ rights, higher education and other issues surrounding student life that a President must possess.
This President’s reign is only guaranteed to last one year. The effects, however, can have long-lasting implications. For instance, by insulting the current provincial government at every turn for this entire year, the chance to affect positive change the following year decreases tremendously. An even longer-term detrimental action would be campaigning in favour of a tuition increase to support a failing faculty. This could set a precedent that would only lead to progressive, unnecessary tuition increases for years to come. A vision for the future is tact and passion expressed through proper organization. By smartly going about one’s passions, this President will be able to complete a term that can only be qualified as a success.
It may be impossible to get 13,000 students to agree unanimously on the perfect URSU President. Nevertheless, by removing partisan ties, ideological stances and personal grudges, we can all conclude that our URSU President must be able to communicate innovative solutions effectively while always keeping the future in mind. On Sept. 25 or 26, get out, have your voice heard and shape your own future.