UNBSU discusses poster use
A debate over the UNBSU’s use of posters took up a large portion of Sunday’s council meeting.
This year, the UNBSU has cut the number of posters they use for advertising considerably and there have been concerns raised recently over whether this has caused a drop in event attendance.
The UNBSU executive has argued that they are supplementing poster use with an increase of social media presence. Councillors took both sides of the issue.
“Social media and word of mouth is great and all, but some people aren’t on social media all the time, aren’t always checking that. And then even if you do word of mouth, seeing those posters there up on the wall is like a reinforcement of what’s happening,” said engineering representative Kelsey Morrissey.
Other councillors said that active, person-to-person contact was a better alternative.
“It becomes redundant when you have a lot of posters. How often do you walk by the same poster in a day? And active awareness is effective,” said women’s representative Jessica Dobson, adding that it was also a waste of paper and ink.
Nicole Saulnier, UNBSU vice-president external, said that in the past they had noticed that printing a lot of posters wasted money.
“Two years ago our campaigns and promos line in the budget which deals with stuff such as printing posters and the rest of our promotional items through the year was just under $19,000 and this year it’s at $8,500,” said Will Macmackin, vice-president of finance and operations for the UNBSU.
“So there has been a significant decrease and we’re trying to be as creative as we can.”
Instead, the UNBSU has turned to social media to advertise their events.
“We just started paying for Facebook ads and our likes and our percentages are up a lot. As far as post views go we’ve gone from an average of about 300-400 to 7,000-8,000 people on average in the past couple of weeks,” Macmackin said.
The reduction of poster use is a part of the UNBSU’s new marketing strategy but Lee Thomas, vice-president internal, said that if the council saw it fit, they could increase their poster campaigns.
“We thought plastering the walls with posters was a very passive way of interacting with students, and we thought that by reducing the number we would really have to put ourselves out there and do more person-to-person contact,” Thomas said.
“It really seems to sound like a lot of people think we need to do our poster runs again. If that’s the direction council wants us to go then we’ll take it.”
To consider the issue further, a motion was passed to send the discussion to the internal committee of the UNBSU with the Union’s marketing manager in attendance.
Council weighs in on UNB Act draft revisions
The UNBSU council passed a motion to send a letter with their recommendations for the UNB Act draft revisions.
In the letter, the UNBSU will be recommending that the ability to change the composition of the Board of Governors is a good thing as well as advising that there should always be government oversight for decisions made by the Board.
“These are the recommendations of the council to the university are what we think the university should do. I think it gives [the letter] more weight for council as a body to have,” said Nicole Saulnier, vice-president external of the UNBSU.
The student union’s primary concern regards the proposal to put certain aspects of the Act into by-laws.
When something is put into a by-law, it means that it doesn’t have to go through legislature. The UNBSU is concerned that a lack of government oversight would give the Board too much power.
“You shouldn’t be allowed to decide how much power you have as a group; that should come from above you,” said Lee Thomas, UNBSU vice-president internal.
The Student Union was pleased with the proposal to shrink the Board from 40 members to 16, as it will give the two student board members a more proportional voice.
The motion to draft a letter of recommendation was passed unanimously and the letter will be discussed in the Nov. 2 council meeting before being sent to the UNB Act steering committee.