Re-Cap: 2020 USC Elections Results
After an intense campaigning season, the results for the 2020 USC elections are in. The results were announced yesterday evening at The Spoke.
Students came out to show their support for this year's candidates, and The Spoke was bumping with energy. Yet, the same support did not translate to the polls.
Western saw a decrease in voter turn-out this year, at 22%, which is a 2.3% drop from last year. Out of the 33,631 students who were registered to vote, only 7,407 students voted.
To start off the night, the winners of Divisional Candidates for the 2020-2021 school year were announced:
Faculty of Arts & Humanities:
Council Representative: Eva Alie (won with 63.4% of the vote)
Alie, who had a lot of conjecture surrounding her campaign, spoke to us about what she learnt from the whole process. “Something that I’ve really taken away from this whole election campaign is to believe in your own strength,” she said.
Faculty of Information and Media Studies:
President: Katie Bennett (won with 48.4% of the vote)
After the results were announced, Bennett revealed that she had been putting hard work into her campaign for over two months and emphasized how excited she was to get to work. “I’ve been working on this since December… The hardest part was the endurance aspect, but the best was getting to talk to so many people and meet great people in FIMS, and really just connecting back to my faculty.”
Faculty of Health Science:
President: Sebastian Deagle (won with 68.3% of the vote)
Council Representative: Kris Tom (won with 31% of the vote)
Breanna Samuels and Kris Tom tied with 31% of the vote. In the case of a tie, the winner is chosen by a coin toss.
President: Kara Godkin (acclaimed)
Council Representative: Elias Boussoulas (won with 33.5% of the vote)
President: Erika Juhasz (acclaimed)
Council Representative: Antonio Beltran (acclaimed)
Faculty of Music:
President: Lara Plokhaar (acclaimed)
Faculty of Science:
President: Teo Marginean (won with 59.4% of the vote)
Representative: Jacky Lee (won with 14.9% of the vote), Kennedy Barkhouse (won with 13.6% of the vote), Faran Khalid (won with 12.6% of the vote), Katie Brown (won with 12.5% of the vote), Shanika Mahakul (won with 11.2% of the vote), and Ethan Biswurm (won with 10.2% of the vote).
Faculty of Social Science:
President: Zamir Fakirani (won with 69% of the vote)
We had a chance to catch up with Fakirani after the announcement of the results, and he talked about how badly change is needed on Western's campus. “I am really excited to start reprioritizing the student voice…This election season has shown us that we’ve lost a lot of credibility and lost a lot of respect, and the first thing that I need to do when I step into office is start connecting with students again,” said the Social Science president elect.
Representative: Katie Campbell (won with 15.2% of the vote), Nika Bajaj (won with 11.4% of the vote), Nikol Kamenetsky (won with 11.4% of the vote), Ali Malik (won with 10.7% of the vote), Ido Feldman (won with 9.8% of the vote), Jessica Omorodion (won with 9.7% of the vote), and Savannah Mastronardi (won with 9.5% of the vote)
London Youth Advisory Council:
Hayat Bander (won with 54.6% of the vote)
Board of Governors:
Sara Neiman (won with 28.4% of the vote)
Arts and Humanities/FIMS/Music Senator:
Tyrese Walters (won with 62% of the vote)
When it comes to the Senate, Walters expressed his shock at how little the student body actually knew about it. “A lot of students don’t know what senate is, what senate does, and how senate can actually represent them in the best way possible,” said Walters. He went on to discuss how excited he was to get into the different faculties and let students know how Senate can help them.
After all the Divisional Candidates were announced, the USC finally revealed who next year’s President will be.
Western students chose Matt Reesor who won with 5,521 votes, with runners-up Victoria Barroso, Aleesha Rehill, and Keenan Qin receiving 2,782 votes, 1,692 votes, and 761 votes respectively.
The team was able to catch up with Matt after the results were announced and he was in a state of pure excitement, giving lots of kudos to his team. “First year Matt would never believe this…This was a massive team effort and I’m so, so proud of them…I’m a little bit short for words right now."
We also got a chance to chat with the other Presidential candidates, Victoria Barroso, Aleesha Rehill, and Keenen Qin.
Barroso, who served as president of the Faculty of Science this past year, commented on how different her campaign looked in comparison to the 2019-2020 elections.
“An election of this magnitude has definitely been different and difficult to adapt to,” said Barroso.
When asked about her experience talking to Western students over the last few weeks, Rehill spoke about her hopes for Council next year.
“I learn a lot about our campus, what needs to be done, the changes that need to be made, so it was a really exciting time to learn more, and I’m excited to see what’s next,” said Rehill.
When asked about what she thinks the USC will look like next year, Barroso echoed Rehill’s emphasis on change, and said “I hope it’s a USC that’s more inclusive, I hope it’s a USC that’s more representative, but we’ll see.”
Qin explained how he anticipated last nights results. "I'm not too shocked, at the end of the day it is Western...It would've been nice to see a female or person of colour win, but all the best to Matt. He ran a fantastic campaign."
After an intense campaign, it's important to congratulate all the students who took the initiative to put their name on the ballots. Running a student election campaign is a unique learning experience, and all of these students displayed immense courage and dedication to the student body.
The only way that Western is going to see the change that so many students are calling for is through advocacy and engagement for students, with students, and by students; regardless of whether a candidate won or lost, they helped in working towards this change.