Amplifying students’ voices. That’s third-year Faculty of Information and Media Studies students Mike Roy and Aidan Mckendrick’s mandate as they navigate the 2016 USC elections.
One of five slates, Roy is running for president with Mckendrick vying for the vice-presidency. While Team Roy’s platform will be released later this week, the pair notably slipped into the USC’s electoral race at 3:45 p.m. last Friday — 15 minutes before the USC nominations cut-off and with well over the 50 signatures required for eligibility.
Roy and Mckendrick emphasized their slate’s edge comes from their willingness to challenge the University Students’ Council’s status quo.
“We aren’t doing this to pad our resumes, we really really want to see some changes happen,” Roy said. “The UCC is supposed to be a public space, and right now it’s the most corporate, sterile and unwelcoming space for discourse.”
Roy and Mckendrick explained they’re a good team because they’re ideologically on the same page and they’ve worked together in the past to organize off-campus initiatives with great success.
Neither Roy nor Mckendrick have roots in the USC, but both are involved in the London community through event planning and advocacy groups like Food Not Bombs. Roy previously owned a telecommunications business with over 50 employees, which familiarized him with the spirit of entrepreneurship. At Western, Mckendrick helped launch the University’s NDP club and has links to EnviroWestern and Active Minds at UWO.
Mckendrick said the team knows how to reach out to fringe groups, improve USC accessibility and bring a set of fresh eyes to student government.
“We’re trying to gauge what students want … and talk to all of the communities and see what everyone needs,” said Mckendrick.
As for campaign plans, Team Roy said they’re keeping things simple and plan on talking to as many students as possible, reaching out to affiliate campuses, too.
“We also learned that we had a budget of $1,500 … and it's student money so we don’t really feel comfortable spending that, so we’re just trying to keep [the campaign] simple.” Mckendrick added.
Overall, Team Roy hopes to bring a different perspective to the USC elections.
“There’s not been a lot of change, push-back or questions,” Roy said. “I’d like to see representatives actually representing students.”