Michael Alvaro is miffed. Alvaro is president of the student union at St. Michael’s College, which will not get a polling station for UTSU elections. On Friday, UTSU directors voted down St. Mike’s rep Jonie Sullivan’s motion to install a polling station at Kelly Library or the lobby of Brennan Hall.
The booth would have cost $800, money that the Election and Referenda Committee does not have, according to the committee chair Dave Scrivener, who is also UTSU’s VP external.
Scrivener said that in the past, the U of T Mississauga Students Union has shared UTSU polling stations in Mississauga and split costs. This year, UTMSU elections are being pushed back two weeks, so UTSU will fund its own three stations. St. George has 10 polling stations, down from 12 last year, down from 12 last year.
Sullivan, the St. Mike’s rep, said that with only two polling stations, the parts of campus east of Queen’s Park have gotten the short shrift. On the west side, the Athletic Centre polling station has been removed.
“Relations between St. Mike’s and UTSU had been poor in the past, so this would actually give our students a voice and it would give us representation,” said Alvaro. “Our students are not going to care enough about UTSU to make the walk out to UTSU because they have been so distanced from St. Mike’s this year.”
Sullivan argued that Brennan Hall is the hub of student life for St. Mike’s. “Almost every student passes through Brennan at least once a day. That is where the cafeterias and student government are located,” she said.
Scrivener said polling stations should be planned around class locations. “Classrooms or lecture halls are the locations with maximum traffic from the greatest diversity of constituencies,” he said. Neither of the proposed St. Mike’s locations fit the bill. Scrivener also rejected Alumni Hall, which had a polling station last year, because it doesn’t have wireless internet access.
Wymilwood Café at Vic will be the closest polling station to St. Mike’s, but concerns over lack of wheelchair access were raised at the board meeting.
Each slate has an exec candidate from St. Mike’s: Daniella Kyey for VP equity and James Finlay for VP external.