Following recent announcements from the provincial government regarding student ancillary fees and revised tuition frameworks, student elections have never been more important. The USC President and Vice President are responsible for representing nearly 30,000 Western undergraduate students through advocacy at the university, municipal, provincial, and federal levels. The incoming executive will face unprecedented challenges and their actions will help to shape the very existence of the USC, and campus life here at Western. Now, more so than ever, it is important for students to vote for who they believe will best represent them to these levels of government
The incoming executives will work closely with past executives during the month of transition, and cultivate existing relationships administration, faculty councils and stakeholders around the university to ensure that the voices of Western students are heard by all decision makers.
Beyond advocacy, the USC is responsible for over 2,777 events including Orientation Week, awareness events, conferences, workshops and concerts such as Purple Fest and Purple Frost. Over 50 student coordinators, associates, and interns work with the executive and full-time staff at the USC to support the operation of the organization, while developing experiential learning skills and develop their leadership abilities.
Not only is voting an important part of civic engagement as a student on campus, it is a critical opportunity for students to voice their opinions and guide advocacy efforts for the upcoming year.
Mitch Pratt, USC President emphasized the importance of student government: “Even if you know nothing about the USC, I guarantee it impacts your life as a Western Student in some way. Student leaders are elected to care, even when no one else does. The importance of these elections cannot be understated. This is your money, and your say!”
As a student, it might feel like some of your experience is out of your own hands. You don’t control your assignments, your midterm schedule, or what’s covered on your upcoming quiz. What you do have a say in is your student representatives and their plans to support your experience and advocate on your behalf. The most direct way to have an impact is to get informed and vote.
Cleo Davies-Chalmers, 4th-year science student, and senator for the Schulich School of Medicine, speaks to the importance of voting in both the USC election, and Senate elections. “We’ve traditionally seen a lower voter turnout in Senate elections because they take place after the USC elections, however both elections are equally as important.”
Academic policy on main campus, affiliate colleges, and professional schools is impacted by the work and decisions of both student and faculty senators. With USC and Senate elections now occurring simultaneously, Chalmers is optimistic that more students will educate themselves on issues pertaining to elections, get informed and vote in this year’s election.
On February 4th and 5th, exercise your democratic right to vote for the next President and Vice President of the University Students’ Council alongside Councillors, Faculty and Association Presidents, and Student Senators, Board of Governors and the London Youth Advisory Council representatives. No matter who you support, take the time to voice your opinion this week and vote in this year’s student elections.
USC Elections take place on February 4th and 5th (until 8pm!). Eligible students can vote online with just a few clicks at westernvotes.com!