Thoughts on the AUS Presidential race and the AUS Referndum

According to the AUS elections Twitter (@auselections), Ingrid Nilson has just dropped out of the race for Arts AMS Representative, leaving us with six candidates running for five seats (and one of those candidates is a joke candidate).

The lack of competitive races in this election is very disappointing to me. Not only is there a lack of competitive races, but many of the candidates don’t seem to be taking their campaigns very seriously (that is, if they’re campaigning at all). To me, not attending the debates (or at the very least replying with availability or regrets) does not bode very well for the next year of the AUS as it shows a lack of commitment and reliability. Huge thanks to all the candidates who did come out (or had legitimate reasons for their absence).

What boggles me the most is that only ONE presidential candidate, Brian Platt, attended the debates. I was already intending to support Brian in the presidential race prior to the debates, but my support for him increased exponentially when I heard his platform and ideas in more detail and witnessed his professional mannerism. I fully endorse Brian and urge all Arts students to vote for him and encourage their friends to do the same. It will be hard for Brian to win as he is not currently an AUS insider (and council is very insular) but I firmly believe that he is the best candidate for president. The AUS needs some new blood and a fresh perspective to be able to achieve the change that all candidates are campaigning on.

On a different note, I’d also like to write a bit about the fee increase referendum that came out of nowhere (yes, it seems like it came out of nowhere to me too even though I am a current AUS exec).

– Technically the AUS ran a student fee increase referendum last year as well (it was not advertised and we were nowhere even close to quorum anyways and thus most have forgotten/never knew about it)
– The money was to be used to create a new student space and/or expand upon our current space. This idea has been supported by the Dean of Arts and past AUS councils.
– This year’s AUS exec met with the AMS Designer (i.e. the person who would be designing a new student space or an expanded student space) within a month of our taking on our positions and created a committee to look into the details of a new or expanded space. I chaired this committee in the summer (it was called the AUSSSE committee, the Arts Undergraduate Society Student Space Expansion committee) and our president took over chairing it in the fall.
– During the summer we, with the AMS Designer, looked into a couple options for expanding/renovating the AUS offices and the MASS space.
– In the fall, I no longer sat on the committee  and thus do not know exactly what they did work on or how often (if at all) they met. I do know that a sub-committee to deal with promotions surrounding a referendum was supposedly created (again, I never heard of it actually meeting, but it might have met a few times).
– I had barely heard running a fee increase referendum mentioned again until a few weeks before the election when the AUS Executive had a couple email threads about it.
– In the beginning of March another email thread was sent out within the execs to vote on whether or not we wanted to put the referendum on the ballot. Three of us (myself included) voted NOT to have it on the ballot for various reasons which I will not outline here (if you want more details feel free to email me about it at cherylkornder [at] gmail [dot] com). One exec voted in favour, one did not respond to the thread and our president (who in code is only supposed to vote on the Executive Committee in the event of a tie) strongly supported the idea and decided to put it on the ballot despite the other execs concerns (and majority vote in favour of it NOT being on the ballot).
– AUS Council had not heard anything about the referendum since the creation of the AUSSSE committee until our president announced last Monday that it would be on the ballot.

That’s the timeline to the best of my memory (it’s possible there are other happenings that I was unaware of).

All that said, I cannot support this referendum as I think the AUS has not provided much, if anything, tangible to the students who paid us their $13 student fees this year (and thus I cannot see why these students should vote to give the AUS money in increasing increments up to $28).

I do agree that the AUS should expand its space and create club offices, more study space, etc. but this is not the appropriate time or process for a referendum. (As a note of history, when the AUS created its original MASS space, about 8 months of promotion and campaigning were done to pass the fee and had the support of the AUS council of the day).

I think the AUS needs to get itself into shape before it attempts a referendum, and electing Brian Platt as AUS President would be a great first step to do so.

That’s all from me for now. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to email or leave a comment 🙂

Love and kisses,



3 Responses to “Thoughts on the AUS Presidential race and the AUS Referndum”

  1. 1 istarbel
    March 14, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I just wanted to add to the referendum issue that i agree with it not passing, not because i dont agree with the mass expansion but because this feels like it has been passed behind the councils back.


  2. 2 taylorloren
    March 14, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    ” I think the AUS has not provided much, if anything, tangible to the students who paid us their $13 student fees this year (and thus I cannot see why these students should vote to give the AUS money in increasing increments up to $28).”


  3. June 7, 2010 at 3:59 am

    i can get tipsy off $13.
    but here’s a cup of tea, cheryl – you drink too much.
    and i love you more for it.

    i’ll drive you to your aa meetings any time.

    and sorry. it’s 4am. i can’t sleep. so i’m just saying random shit now.

    there is a lot of which you brought up that i do agree with. you already know that.

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