I want to begin this letter by congratulating Mac McIntosh on his election to student programs officer (SPO).

Mac is a great person, phenomenal student leader and will do amazing things for students. Please do not let the actions of others limit your trust or place doubt in his abilities.

For those wishing this letter will hypothesize on whether the incoming slate’s interference or outgoing executive’s purposeful accumulation of proxies ultimately affected the result, I will apologize now because you will be disappointed.

There are more important things to discuss. If anyone deserves to feel mistreated by the actions of the executive it is the other four SPO candidates: Mac McIntosh, Imraan Mukri, Ella Wardlaw and Paul Scala. This election should be remembered for five diverse and deeply qualified candidates who each presented a unique vision for student programming.

Unfortunately, this has been overshadowed by individuals who felt getting what they wanted was more important than having respect for the democratic process or the efforts of all the candidates. There can be no place on our campus or in our student government for those who believe their personal agenda comes before the integrity or fairness of our democracy. Blaming ‘stress’ or the need for a ‘cohesive’ executive for getting “in the way of [respecting] council and the democratic process” shows a clear dereliction of personal responsibility, one that should be worrisome to all students.

The University Students' Council (USC) executive must be able to work with and listen to those with whom they most disagree, and especially those they strongly dislike. If not, then they are incapable of truly representing the voices and perspectives of a 30,000 person student body.

The incoming slate ran on a platform centred around the idea of “Your School, Your Say," but at the very first opportunity made an effort to undermine the voices of others. There will always be people who try to tell you that there is nothing you can do or that their voice matters more than yours.

Let me assure you that they are wrong.

As someone who has seen student government at its best and its worst, please hear me loud and clear: your voices are needed now more than ever. Whether you are involved with the USC or not, I implore you to use your voice and take action.

It will always be more challenging to do what is right, instead of what is easy, but I promise you it will always be worth it. It is easy to become cynical about student government, especially when it gives us every reason to be.

Students, please do not give up on our USC. There is too much good to be done on our campus and it can be a powerful outlet for this work. We need your voices, your passion, your commitment, and your leadership now more than ever. Our USC doesn’t work unless we do.

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