Western University Student’s Council election polls open today, and that means thousands of students will be looking over platforms and promises made by the three executive slates running for the top positions.
Three teams will be vying for your vote, Team DiBrina, Team Janmohammad, and Team Tobi each of whom having very different ideas of how they want to run the USC.
Now this article is less about what each slate proposes to do if they get elected, and more about the logistics of running a campaign, but, if you are unsure about the platforms thankfully I outlined some major platform points in a recent article I wrote that you can gander at here: http://www.1069thex.com/2017/01/24/who-are-the-usc-candidates/
Campaigning can take a massive toll on the candidates running, in fact, it’s basically a 24 hour a day commitment for 2 straight weeks. Harry Orbach-Miller, the Vice Presidential choice on the Team DiBrina slate, outlined his day by saying, “I get up, put on my blue shirt (their team colours), go to campus, go to our team booth talk to a bunch of students,and go talk to any councils or clubs we haven’t gone to yet. Me and Dave (DiBrina) still have obligations to our classes and our current student government jobs too, it can be a lot.” Now, put that day on repeat for over 14 consecutive days and that would tire out an olympic marathon runner.
This day outlined by Orbach-Miller doesn’t even have one of the many debates and interviews that the candidates have to research and prepare for. These debates are heated and exhausting to everyone involved, but it is all part of the gig when you look to hold the highest student position on council.
Choosing a campaign team can be the most challenging part, but is yet often overlooked by the casual observer of student politics. You need to rally a group of motivated students who share the same goals and aspirations as you in a very short period of time, and oh yeah, they as well are going to have to sacrifice many days and nights to your campaign. Some positions include Campaign Manager, Deputy Campaign Manager, Platform Director, Finance Director and the list goes on.
The big story coming into today will be voter turn out. The USC has had atrocious student engagement numbers in the past few years, only 24% of students voted for their current President Eddy Avila. It’s hard to blame laziness since the link to vote is literally sent to your email, and it takes just a couple of clicks before you’re done.
The slates this year have really focussed on ensuring a higher voter turnout. The slates have common ground on this issue, with many of them speaking to clubs and not specifically asking anyone to vote for their team, but just to vote in general.
The USC is in charge of allocating a large sum of your money as a Western student. When I asked students passing in the hallways on Western campus about if they would vote or not, I was greeted with an abundance of “No worth my time”‘s.
Look, taking time to understand how your student government works certainly is not the sexiest thing to do, but it’s worth it. Many students complain about how much money they pay in tuition, but yet don’t care enough to actually look what programs and events their money is being put into. Be the voice for YOUR money, vote and engage with a USC executive slate that works for YOU, and not the other way around.