Braeden Jones is no stranger to King’s Students’ Union politics.
The third-year journalism student and new member-at-large is now on his second position in the KSU and has run in four Union elections. This time, he ran unopposed, winning 77 per cent of the votes cast.
He told us about transitioning from representing residence students in the Bays to serving the needs of the KSU’s general membership.
The Watch: Last year you were on the KSU as the Chair of Bays?
Braeden Jones: I was, yeah, which was a lot of fun. My capacity in that role was very much like the financial vice president of the KSU, just sort of allotting funding and stuff like that for various events and what not. More of an overseer sort of role this year, less event planning and more internal work.
W: You said that as Chair of Bays you dealt with finances, what would those finances be used for?
BJ: Chair of Bays has a budget separate from KSU. It’s actually the residence budget. That is overseen by Nicholas Hatt. Nicholas Hatt and both residence reps – Chair of Bays and President of Alex Hall – are co-signers on this lovely account that pays for everything from parties to events, to barbeques, to anything that actually happens on campus… Last year, for example, I supported The Bay, an independent radio station in the basement in Middle Bay. As member-at-large, I want to find alternative funding methods for groups that are not KSU ratified societies but still could use that support, because it was way easier as Chair of Bays to do that. I don’t see why the KSU can’t support these sort of “grassroots” operations the way I did last year.
W: As the member-at-large would you say that you keep everything in order?
BJ: It’s not like I’m the chair, that’s not a thing. It’s more or less identifying problems within the general operations of council and then going through the proper courses to repairing whatever those problems may be. It’s hard to say what those are… things like when elections are happening for general councillors. Why do we have two, three meetings at the beginning of the year with fewer councillors in them? You know it’s hard to say. Things like that are under the umbrella of what the member at large should be cognisant of. But that’s an isolated example. It’s hard to say. The job is sort of rising to the occasion and I have yet to determine what that occasion might be.
W: What do you hope to achieve for this first meeting?
BJ: For the first meeting? Golly, I don’t know, just getting my footing again, really. It’s a different council than it was last year, and last year council had its own challenges. So the first meeting is going to be an evaluation of sorts and just trying to learn where people are standing on things and evaluate the needs of council. Then it’ll be just meeting those needs.