2018 USC Election Results
After months of preparations and campaigning, the results were finally in for this 2018-2019 school year’s Spring Elections period.
The UCC’s Spoke was filled with students eager to hear the elections results at last night’s event held by the University Student Council. There was a 23% voter turnout this year, with 7,584 Western students voting to have their opinion’s heard and valued on campus.
I was able to chat with second year student Peter Bishay, who commented on the importance of understanding your surroundings by getting involved in politics at Western. He believes that students should take an active role in politics on campus by educating themselves with regards to student platforms, so they can have well-versed and knowledgeable reasons for voting one way or the other.
Students Tayo and Cynthia have also been keeping up with the elections period, and I was able to talk with them about the significance of student involvement in politics at Western. Both girls agreed that student’s should vote so they could actively change some of the policies or ideas they want to see implemented or changed on Western’s campus.
To begin the evening, the USC announced the Divisional Candidates for the upcoming school year. The Faculty of Arts and Humanities President is Misha Apel (acclaimed), Faculty of Health Sciences President is Vanessa Rocchese (acclaimed), Faculty of Health Sciences Representative is Lucy Watson (won with 62.5% of the vote), Nursing (association) President is Emma Woodside (acclaimed), Health Studies (association) President is Juliana VanGaalen (acclaimed), Kinesiology (association) President is Melissa Baile, (won with 57.7% of the vote).
To continue, Kinesiology (association) Representatives are Zain Al-Shamil (acclaimed), Faculty of Information and Media Studies President is Ariana Magliocco (acclaimed), Faculty of Music President is Cecilia Liu (won 60.5% of the vote), Faculty of Science President is Frank Ye (won 62.1% of the vote), Faculty of Science Representative(s) are Victoria Barroso, Elliot Polster, Peter Denezis, Bethany Adair, Teodora Marginean, Eric Sun, and Cheryl Fernandes, Faculty of Social Science President is Jared Forman (won with 38.2% of the vote), Faculty of Social Science Representative(s) are Anne Campbell, Kieran Lawlor, Jordyn O’Connor, Samantha Potter, Nikol Kamenetsky, Ryan Baldwin, Charles Ma, Jack Stebbing, Ashiana Raja, and Lisa Teno, and the London Youth Advisory Council-Western Councillor is Joshua Monk (won with 35.4% of the vote).
When it came to the CHRW Radio Western referendum, the student’s voted to allocate $10.50 of their ancillary fees (less than 1% of the $1000 paid for ancillary fees each year, separate from tuition) towards funding for Radio Western. Approximately 6,666 people voted for the referendum, whereas 6,583 voted for the PVP. With this vote, the radio can now maintain all current services and programming, so we would like those who voted for their support.
The majority of the student vote also believed that mental health and wellness must be included as a high priority of Western’s Strategic Plan, with an overwhelming 89.3% of voters who voted ‘yes’ on the Mental Health Plebiscite.
After announcing the Divisional Candidates, the referendum, and the plebiscite results, the USC finally revealed which Presidential/Vice Presidential slate would be representing Western University’s campus for the next year. The students chose Team PrattChang, who won the elections with 74.8% of the vote. I was able to catch up with both Mitchell Pratt and Danny Chang after the event, who highlighted some of the most difficult, yet rewarding moments of the campaigning process.
I was also able to chat with presidential candidate Ocean Enbar, part of Team Ocean, who emphasized the importance of taking part in leadership positions on campus and beyond, having your voice heard in campus politics, and how gratifying the whole experience of campaigning was.
Last night’s event at the Spoke was bumping with energy; it was evident that many students were eager to hear the elections results, as they cheered and clapped to support their fellow peers after hearing each result.
Win or lose, it is important for students to try to take on leadership positions like this on campus, because the only way a democracy can flourish is with a variety of opinions, experiences, and values to choose from and listen to. There are always opportunities to get involved, and taking the initiative to run for a position in the first place is a large feat in and of itself.