The final debate of the 2017 elections wrapped up Tuesday night with all three slates getting grilled on different issues.

London's Ward 6 councillor, who represents Western and surrounding areas on city council, moderated the debate. 

The Purple Store was once again a hot topic with Tobi Solebo contending that Team DiBrina was incorrect in stating the Purple Store lost money last year.

The debate took to Twitter, with Team DiBrina Tweeting a portion of a financial statement as evidence to prove that The Purple Store, did in fact, lost money.

Clubs was another popular topic during the debate. All of the slates acknowledged the newly formed Student Organizations Union (SOU) and discussed plans to include them in increased discussions with the USC in one form or another.

The slates were vocal about some of the major concerns that clubs have been bringing forward including food policy. Team DiBrina proposed the creation of a pre-approved list of food vendors for clubs to choose from and Team Jan/Mohammad noted that they would increase communication with the clubs.

Team Tobi provided the idea of clustering clubs into categories in order to deal with their specific needs.

"We need to allow [the clubs] to continue to grow and give them the environment to continue to grow and that’s why one idea that we’ve discussed is a cluster system," said Solebo. "Ensuring that we are clustering clubs and not painting them all with one broad stroke so that the policies that we pass along with them apply to each and every club specifically." 

The slates also talked about supporting USC councillors. Both Team Jan/Mohammad and Team Tobi recognized that more open communication is necessary to ensure that councillors feel that they are heard. Team DiBrina talked about offering a Councillor Mentorship Program and offering more training so that new councillors can transition into their roles a little bit easier. 

Allie Adamo, USC student programs officer, took to the stage to ask the candidates about gender inequality given the lack of the female representation in the current slates.

Being the only female running for a presidential slate this year, Team Jan/Mohammad spoke about the courage needed to run for a position like this. Team DiBrina and Team Tobi talked about actively consulting females, with Team Tobi speaking out about making sure the hiring guidelines of positions controlled by the USC are inclusive. An example of a solution, proposed by Team DiBrina, was the creation of a female board of advisors.

Jamie Cleary, current USC vice-president and Ontario Undergraduate Students’ Association (OUSA) president,  asked the vice-president hopefuls if they would run for OUSA president.

Harry Orbach-Miller of Team DiBrina noted that, if council supported it, he would run for OUSA president. On the other hand, Mohammad Hussain of Team Jan/Mohammad said that they haven’t yet considered the issue. Finally, Landon Tulk of Team Tobi admitted that he places a higher importance on addressing internal issues over running for OUSA president, but did acknowledge that if it was possible for him to do both, he would.

“If we can’t [communicate with the students], I can’t feel morally okay going and [becoming OUSA president]. Now that doesn’t mean that Western cannot still provide definition in OUSA on the steering committee, I’m looking forward to doing that at the bare minimum,” said Landon.

Finally, the debate ended off with the slates answering that students asked via Facebook Live.

These questions covered a wide range of topics from affiliate integration to the representation of marginalized groups on campus.

The campaign ends next week with voting taking place Jan. 30-31. 

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