Okyere to head opposition slate

After last week’s election, the new Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) executive will be made up of candidates from two opposing slates.  

Obed Okyere, a fourth-year political science student and head of the “Students First” slate, was elected CUSA’s president, winning by a margin of 22 votes.

A little under 4000 students, or about 23 per cent of the student population  voted in this year’s elections.

Members of the opposing slate, “A Voice for Students,” will fill the other executive positions.  

However, members of the incoming CUSA executive said they don’t foresee major problems with working with each other, citing their need to put the students’ needs first.

Chantle Beeso, vice-president-elect (student issues), said, “we definitely need to have a meeting as an executive.”

“I think that if we have the students’ best interest at heart, then we should be able to work together to make things happen,” she said.

“I think it’s good that we have a diverse mix of students from both teams,” Marc Proctor, vice-president-elect (student services) said.

“There may be some times when we conflict with certain issues, but I don’t think that it’s something that we won’t be able to work out.”
“We’re here to serve the students, no matter what team we come from,” Proctor said.

Okyere agreed, and said he doesn’t think the mixed executive will affect CUSA’s ability to serve the student body.

“We are going to work together to get results for students,” Okyere said. “We are going to put the students first.”

Each member had a list of goals for the upcoming year they will be working with the other executive to achieve.

Beeso said all the goals outlined in her platform are top priority, but that the first is “definitely the U-Pass.”

She said her plan is to introduce herself to the transit committee and make the U-Pass work for all students.  

Proctor said he wants to bring back the 25 work-study positions which were cut by the university, create a dedicated Black History Month, increase volunteer opportunities within CUSA service centres, and strengthen the partnership between clubs and societies and CUSA service centres.

Okyere said CUSA’s goals next year would be focused on “making education more affordable” by increasing bursaries, as well as the budgets for clubs and service centres.  

He said education was not just about tuition, but about the services available to students on campus.  

“We want to make sure that we have the best service centres possible,” Okyere said.

Okyere said one of his top priorities was to balance the CUSA budget by cutting unnecessary spending and “putting money in the right place.”

All six executives, who also include Karim Khamisa (vice-president) elect finance, Ariel Norman (vice-president) elect internal and Dave Tapiero (vice-president) elect student life will take office May 1.