During all the excitement surrounding the University Students’ Council presidential elections, sometimes the faculty races get lost in the shuffle. But away from the glitz of the USC presidential elections, many hopeful student politicians are vying to represent their respective faculties. So without further ado, here is a brief overview of the faculty presidential candidates.
Arts and Humanities Council President
For the first time in six years, an A&H president will be elected rather than acclaimed. This year there are two candidates hoping to head the council housed in University College.
First on the ballot is Sarah Emms, a third-year French and English double major. Currently she sits on the council as VP communications but hopes to supersede that position with the presidential role. Noteworthy points on her platform include establishing a mentorship program with Arts alumni in order to foster career development.
The second candidate is Kacie Oliver, a third-year student studying art history and philosophy. And for now that’s all I can tell you as
it appears Oliver’s platform and website are still in the works. Update: She does have a blog, but it doesn’t mention experience or platform points.
The debate for A&H presidential candidates will be tonight at 6:15 p.m. in Middlesex College 17.
Social Science Council President
As the largest faculty council at Western, the Social Science presidential race is always exciting to watch. And a lot of success comes out of the SSSC, with former president Andrew Forgione being a former Social Sci president, as well as current presidential candidate Ashley McGuire who also had top spot two years ago.
This year the race features two familiar faces in the Social Science council and one outsider candidate, making it an exciting race to watch.
The first candidate is Zoe Campbell, a second-year history and anthropology student who currently sits on the council as the history department representative. Campbell has the most extensive platform of the three—a four-page word document—covering eight key areas including soph/council relations, first-year engagement and council visibility and transparency.
Next candidate is Lisa Le Nguyen, who is a current social science councillor. Le Nguyen’s platform is broken down into three broad areas, which include enhancing student life, council advancement and social science soph tribute. A point that sticks out is that Le Nguyen proposes installing cell phone chargers in the Social Science building—now where have I heard that before?
And the outsider candidate is Chris Williamson, who is not involved with the social science council currently, but is a residence advisor and a member of the varsity swim team. He may lack experience, but so did current president Matt Helfand when he elected to run last year, so maybe that’s a moot point. Williamson breaks his platform down into five categories similar to those of Nguyen and Campbell, although Williamson does hope to work closely with the Health Science and Science council to establish a “Tri-Sci Network.”
Health Science Council President
There’s not much to say about this one because there was no race. Instead, the FHSSC proudly announced that Laura Crich is their new president-elect.
Science Council President
The Science Students’ Council had a banner year with the success of their Bill Nye at Western event. With this year’s council bringing in arguably the most-well known scientist alive, the prospective candidates will have a lot to live up to.
The race to be the next SSC president feature three hopefuls. First up is Meghan Bhatia, a current third-year student studying physiology and science councillor. Bhatia has a very well-designed website that features a four-page platform broken down into the categories: @YourService, Work Hard, Play Hard and Communication. Highlights of her platform include vying for 24-hour access to the physics and astronomy building, a post-grad mentorship program and bringing in a high-profile performer.
Gord Locke, who has served on the SSC for the past three years, most recently as a science councillor, seems to have aimed to compose the most realistic platform. Locke only makes four promises that he states he can and will keep. Promises include bringing renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to Western—a goal he suggests is very feasible—quadruple the number of awards offered by the SSC, sell more science faculty clothing and replace the apparently unreliable stapler in Taylor Library.
And last but not least is Desmond Swamy, a current medical science and biology student and science councillor has also tossed his name into the ring. Swamy breaks down his platform into the three Rs—research, representation and relationships. Goals include lobbying for more funding for undergraduate research opportunities, helping to create a stronger presence for six science programs, including applied math, earth sciences and computer science, and strengthening the relationship between the SSC and the Science soph team.
The debate for the SSC candidates will be Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Spencer Engineering Building, Room 2202.
Faculty of Information and Media Studies Council President – By Kevin Hurren
Much like the Arts & Humanities Student Council, the FIMSSC has been waiting for a presidential election for quite some time. After three years of acclaimed presidents, the faculty famous for criticism now has its own pair of students to put under the magnifying glass.
The first of the two candidates is Jordan Pearson. As the current editor-in-chief of the FIMS publication OPENWIDE, Pearson knows all about the power of the written word. Releasing a number of platforms over the campaigning period, Pearson harnesses his defiant nature and promises to be a president of advocacy—tackling several larger university issues, such as the Access Copyright fees, increasing tuition rates and the role of TAs in the classroom. At this point, Pearson needs to convince voters in his faculty that he’s not just a strong voice, but can walk the (overwhelming) talk.
The second candidate for FIMSSC president is Matt Wright. Former FIMS Street Team Coordinator, Wright’s understanding of marketability is clear in his platform. Overall, Wright hopes to elevate the faculty beyond its current role of producing theorists, instead focusing on hireable skills that will place FIMS graduates in a better position after graduation. For Wright, this involves more career seminars, an increase in corporate partnership, and, in some regards, a change in course content. While his platform summons the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” it’s up to Wright to prove that FIMS is, in fact, broken.