USC PVP Debate - 2019
2019 USC ElectionsTaniya Sheikh
At halfway point through the campaign season, students in support of their slates along with a few confused faces congregated at the UCC Atrium for the second USC President and Vice-President Debate between Team ForYe (Frank Ye and Jared Forman) and Team Bardia + Cat 2019 (Bardia Jalayer and Catherine Dunne) hosted by the USC.
The debate yesterday that started at 6 pm was moderated by an old friend of the USC, former USC President Tobi Solebo, with current President Mitchell Pratt in attendance. The Presidential candidates squared off to start, followed by their Vice-Presidential candidates before all slate questions were discussed.
The purpose of the debate was to touch upon the visions, highlights and perspectives of each slate on their take for the future of the University. Each slate had 90 secs to start with an opening statement after which the questions would be asked on three main aspects: Platform Policies, Student Issues and Inclusive Engagement. Based on the answer, the opposing slate had the option for a 40-sec rebuttal and to conclude the presidents would end it with a 90-sec closing response.
Frank Ye was given the stage to start off for the opening statements, he spoke on the key visions of the campaign: to have a community-based approach. By understanding their blind spots and moving away from their own perspectives, the slate wanted to engage with the communities and people that were previously ignored such as the LGBTQ+, mature students and minorities. Mentioning that through pillar 2 to 7 of their campaign, they have touched upon key issues such as mental health, having a more inclusive and diversified staff and reduced wait time for health services.
Bardia Jalayer in his opening statement stressed that his slate wanted to engage and represent the student body by bridging the gap between the USC and the student at Western. Through well researched and feasible solutions, they wanted to fight for the students and their issues especially in light of the new OSAP changes.
This was the beginning of the debate which got heated over the questions as one slate rebuttal the other with tough questions and hard hitting facts. A huge part of the debate was spent discussing the recent announcement made by the Doug Ford provincial government regarding OSAP cuts and ancillary fees which played second fiddle to hot topic issues such as Mental Health and Student Engagement. Not just how the decision will affect students of a low-income family, but how major of an impact future students opting-out of ancillary fees could play. From projects like the Thames Hall renovations to clubs such as the Western Marching Band and campus media like the Western Gazette and Western TV, everyone could feel the impact.
You can listen to the debate in full below. For more information on what is left of the campaign trail before election days visit http://westernvotes.com/
Be sure to go out and vote on Monday, February 4th starting at 8 am, until Tuesday, February 5th at 8 pm. https://westernusc.simplyvoting.com/