For a long, long time, the UBCSUO has been known to be synonymous with some very undesirable terms: Corrupt; Nepotistic; Secretive; Irresponsible; Elitist; Incompetent. Part of me thought my friends were crazy to think I could change anything if I got elected to the SUO board. It was only the feeling that I may have abandoned my own country as it fell to corruption and incompetence that I felt I should not cowardly run away from the SUO, like I ran from America, but instead fight to the end for change.

When I attended our incoming board retreat this summer, I expected the worst. After what I’d read about our SUO’s history and seen working in politics, I anticipated maybe two or three board members would have run to fight for the students, and that the rest would be enjoying the social status upgrade or lethargically basking in their newly-upgraded resume.

But the board I met on that retreat couldn’t be any further from that image. I found that every single person on that retreat, from our faculty reps to our VPs to our president, and everyone in between, wanted to be remembered as being on the board which began the SUO’s comeback and had the work ethic to make that happen. That’s not true of everybody who ran; there were candidates who did not have leaving the SUO’s old image behind as a priority. But the only explanation I could come up with was that the students went full-send on making a statement: it’s time for a change. And it’s going to take time, but we’re going to have some great changes happening.

Unfortunately, listing all the things we’re changing would take up too much space, but I’ll list the biggest changes and you can message one of us on Facebook for a more exhaustive list (it’s A LOT):

1.) Completely revamping election regulations

> CRO Accountability, online voting procedures, clear language, etc.

2.) New General Manager

> Check the Phoenix Article!

3.) Bigger Frosh instead of Recess

> Big change. Constant sentiment from students and analysts was we spent waaay too much on parties and it was a cause of corruption. We still have Frosh, with more funding than before using Recess funds, (it will be huge!) but majority of the Recess funding will now be going to services, advocacy campaigns, mental health initiatives, etc. Plus, we’ve finally kept the budget balanced this year!

4.) Finally fixing countless outdated regulations

5.) Performance-based compensation for board members (in our strategic plan, not yet finalized)

6.) Open the door to students

> Cody Isaac and I will be meeting y’all for talks, check Facebook soon!

7.) Better financial regulations

8.) Better mental health services instead of just parties

AND A LOT MORE!

There is one thing which should be clear: fixing our SUO will not be a one-year endeavour. Next year’s elections are crucial, the victorious candidates must show they’re on board for change or progress will be undone. The future is in your hands!