Campaigning will soon begin for the TRUSU elections

Saturday will be the first day candidates may campaign

The annual TRU Student Union (TRUSU) election campaigns will be in full swing between March 23 and 29. Student candidates will be vying for peer support as they aim to earn their spot in the union.

Beginning on March 28, students will have 48 hours to vote online for candidates seeking to join the TRUSU Board of Directors. Successful candidates will serve a one-year term from May 2024 to April 2025.

TRUSU Executive Director Nathan Lane said that while voting is generally important, students have a unique opportunity to make their voices heard on campus through the TRUSU elections.

“The people that you are going to select are going to be responsible for overseeing the services that you access,” Lane said about how the union impacts transit, health, events, and various aspects of student life. “[They] are going to be the people who work with TRU and other decision-makers to try to make your lives better and address the issues that are going on.”

One such representative is Anel Jazybayeva, a third-year communications student, who was first elected as one of two Campaigns Committee Representatives in 2022 before earning the Vice-President External title following the 2023 campaign. She is running for the TRUSU Board of Directors once again in 2024.

Jazybayeva said her inspiration for originally getting involved in the union back in 2022 was fairly simple.

“I’ve just been always interested in student advocacy and issues that students face,” Jazybayeva said. “As an international student, I was probably more knowledgeable about issues that international students face, but I was very curious to learn about what issues domestic students [encountered].”

Jazybayeva said she is particularly proud of two campaigns spearheaded by TRUSU. One is Period Promise, an initiative that supplies menstrual products in the campus washrooms, and the other is the constant dialogue with TRU advocating for lower international student tuition hikes.

Cole Hickson, a TRU alum and current school trustee for SD 73,  also served as Vice-President External for two of his four years on the TRUSU board between 2016 and 2021.

“I hold TRUSU in a very high capacity,” Hickson said. “The power within that organization is extraordinarily underrated and underappreciated by most students… I think the Student’s Union is one of the strongest voices for change.”

Specifically, Hickson expressed pride in campaigns relating to various causes, ranging from improving transit access to better on-campus food options.

“It likely was one of the biggest pieces of my education at university,” Hickson said. “The biggest thing I learned there is how to be part of a team and a community.”

Voting in the upcoming TRUSU election will be done virtually and will open on March 28.