Fourth-year FIMS students Melissa Peterson and Antoinette Taranets will be running together as a slate for the USC’s top political office in the 2016 elections.
Peterson, current FIMS student council president, has put herself forward for the University Students’ Council president position. Taranets, current FIMSSC vice-president communications, is a candidate for the USC vice-president position. They have decided to call their slate “mel + twon.”
Peterson and Taranets are running because they want to have a dialogue on campus without taking themselves too seriously.
“I think these elections can honestly sometimes be alienating to the general population of students because its the same kind of person with the same resume who is stepping up,” Taranets said. “We are just excited to have a little bit of a different perspective while still having qualifications for the role.”
Peterson and Taranets have known each other from working together on the FIMSSC. With the election season coming up in December, the two got in conversation and decided to run.
“It was a little bit of a cheesy romance … we got burritos and it was set,” Peterson said with a laugh.
Peterson felt that students’ whose opinions differ from the usual USC establishment often don't feel incentivized to run for the top positions and that's what pushed them to put their names on the ballot in this election.
“So often people whose opinion differs from the classic USC opinion may not necessarily feel encouraged to pursue that leadership position because you can already see the friction between what you think is best for the organization and what the organization thinks is best for [itself],” she said.
According to Taranets, their platform will focus more on letting students see their perspective because that ultimately influences decisions on issues that may arise during a slate’s term in office.
“Drafting the platform will be based on what we want to bring to the table and where that comes from is really who we are as people,” Peterson said. “I think it should be more about who the candidates are and how they make their decisions.”
Taranets added that platforms are often thought of as closed documents even though there’s no guarantee if the issues discussed would be resolved or even discussed.
About their own platform, Taranets said, “I think we want to say this is our dialogue, this is our invitation to students to contact us and give us their ideas and hopefully something in that platform is what sparks that conversation.”