Only in his second year at Western's founding affiliate college, Dylan Matthews was humbled when 180 students came out to vote for him in Huron University College Students' Council's (HUCSC) presidential election.
Matthews, who is currently HUCSC vice-president communications, ran unopposed and was acclaimed as president for the 2017-18 term.
There were 12 non-confidence votes against him in the polling held on Jan. 24 and 25 online.
“I really only needed one vote to win, but people still turned out to do it,” said Matthews. “It shows Huron students are still committed to the politics and the political process.”
Matthews realizes his win will pose new challenges moving forward, but he will prove himself worthy of the role once his term kicks off.
“It’s always going to be proving that, yes, it was acclaimed but it was also because I was fortunate enough to have people that believed in me — more importantly, believed in the shared idea that we had."
During his term, Matthews wants to focus on community outreach and engaging students with activities outside of Huron.
One particular program he feels passionate about is the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), a student refugee program that allocates $15 of each Huron student’s fee towards sponsoring student refugees.
“I really think that Huron's student council can play a greater role in the community around it,” said Matthews. “And that’s what I want to strive for ... that idea of making us a bigger part of the community.”
Matthews believes in fostering human and personal relationships. He said that once he’s president, he will get together with next year’s USC executives to find common ground and work towards building Huron's relationship with main campus.
“I don’t think the relationship between Huron and main campus should be defined by an agreement,” said Matthews. “An agreement is certainly crucial to the relationship that we have to the USC and main campus but that’s also a byproduct of the relationship we form.”
For now, Matthews will be planning for next year's term.
“The hard work starts now – I felt very good the day after I received the news but now it’s about how I will work hard to prove myself each and every day.”