Mayor have your attention? The results are in!

Over the past few weeks you have been probably bombarded with flyers from various candidates wanting to secure your vote. You’ve also encountered candidates making promises of fixing the LTC, building more civic pride, and a variety of other buzzwords that have your head spinning. Firstly, thanks for looking to us as a source for election information. We did our best and we hope we managed to help some of you with your decisions.

There has been a lot of talk of voter apathy, especially within Ward 6. Student wards don’t have to be synonymous with voter apathy – and we’ve seen this proved wrong first hand. For those of you familiar with deVOTEd, we normally cover USC elections, but we were shocked with the positive response we received to all our municipal coverage. Hey you – student – you’re not alone in reading this, there are many out there just like you who care about the results of this election.

Let’s keep this momentum going. We encourage you, no matter what the results are, to reach out to your elected representative and hold them accountable throughout the duration of their time on council.

Below are the results and last but not least, we have added a lil’ deVOTEd commentary to liven it up a bit.

London’s New Mayor: Matt Brown 

Stay engaged – he can be reached at @Matt_Brown_

Your Ward 6 Representative: Phil Squire

Help him represent you – he can be reached at @SquirePhil

Your Ward 13 Representative:  Tanya Park 

Help her represent you – she can be reached at @tanneramma

You can see full results here.

Your Guide to Ward 13 Candidates

 The reason for this post was because the information on London’s website was inadequate. It did not provide enough information for an informed decision – so we took it upon ourselves. Below you will see all the contact and platform information for each candidate, and as well as whatever platform point they felt they wanted emphasized. Last but not least, we have added a lil’ deVOTEd commentary to liven it up a bit.

Ward 13 aka “Richmond Row.” If you live in the downtown core or at Varsity Commons, this is your ward.

Ward 13 map

Kim Bardai // @KimBardai aka “Spell Check” kimbardai

“One point I really need to make is most of candidate that are running in ward 13 don’t appreciate the economy that students create in City of London. Without the students many businesses would not exist today.” (Just another candidate who fails to reciprocate this message in his platform…)

The rest of Kim’s platform.

Where Kim Bardai’s platform lacks a simple editing job, his platform and experience shine in the business sector. Bardai is focused on investing in London long-term, and with his business experience he might know just how to successfully do it. However, Bardai’s platform lacks in plans for implementation not just in spelling. Focusing on Kim’s platform and taking him seriously was difficult once we started sifting through the amount of mistakes on one platform point alone. We fear that Kim Bardai’s lack of attention to detail could reflect in how he handles projects and his commitment to them. 

Chris Edgar // @ChrisEdgar5 aka “Tax & Duty Free” Chris Edgar

“My main focus is on core basics.  London is facing an infrastructure funding “gap” of $52.1 million currently, which could grow to $466.1 million by 2022 if not addressed.”

The rest of Chris Edgar’s platform.

A candidate promising a hold on taxes is an empty promise. A promise of a no tax increase or “holding taxes” as Edgar writes, is exceedingly unrealistic, just ask London’s former mayor who ran on a zero percent tax increase back in 2010. No one likes to pay taxes, but by not raising taxes even slightly, London will be digging its own grave. Chris Edgar seems like she genuinely wants each and every person in Ward 13 to have the best quality of living possible and to feel safe in their homes. She unfortunately does not understand how conflicting and hindering her platform is to these goals. Where funding is cut, services will suffer. It is a promise she definitely cannot fulfill without causing for other parts of London to bear the burden. Admirable, but unrealistic.

Elizabeth Efthymiadis // @elizabethefthym aka  “Plain Jane”elizabeth

” I support student engagement in civic matters. If elected I will work with the Students’ Council to find ways to encourage engagement in areas that impact the life of a student in London, such as the London Transit system and tenant/landlord relations.”

The rest of Elizabeth’s platform.

There isn’t anything impressive or that stands out about Elizabeth, but there isn’t anything to dislike either. She is not a front-runner, but she is not the worst candidate either. We applaud her on her cool web layout. 

John Fyfe-Millar // @fyfemillar aka “Buzz  Lightyear”

John failed to provide us with a highlighted platform point — maybe he had just as much difficulty as we did finding an actual point beyond his combined buzzwords. 

John Pin It

The rest of John’s platform.

In all of John’s buzzwords, we were able to find some really great points. One of our favourites is a mantra that John wants to develop on council being:  “Instill an attitude of “say yes” until there is a reason to say “no”.” To us, this made us feel like he truly wants to be open to idea of new developments and it made him more approachable. After reading through all of John Fyfe-Millar’s “platform points”, we had a hard time deriving any actual action plan or clear stance on issues. John seems to be like a perfect politician – he is very polished, speaks well, and is very visible within the community — he is also full of  pretty words that hold no content (synergy!), like most politicians. If you can read past all this and make your way to his About Me section, you would realize that he is actually is an impressive candidate in terms of community involvement, civic engagement, and cultural development.

 Tanya Park // @tanneramma aka “Most Likely to Succeed”

“A focus of my platform is to ensure our municipality has all the important amenities like an outstanding transit system, recreational places, affordable high speed fiber optic internet and quality libraries.  Amenities like these are critical as they are an economic attractor for both job creation and talent retention.

YOU are the key demographic whose presence ensures London’s successful and vibrant future, and don’t you forget it!  We need to be a city with an exceptional quality of life so that you want to stay here!

We need a strong, focused councillor that is in touch and understands the issues on a deep level, and that is me.

Realize your power and VOTE!”

The rest of Tanya’s platform.

Out of all the candidates, Tanya Park easily seems the most likable and approachable. At first glance of Park’s platform, you can tell that she genuinely wants to improve the ward and work on developing not only the Ward, but a community. It wasn’t until we checked out Tanya’s blog, that we were able to see just how solution-packed she truly is. Tanya Park has the support of many past London city councilors, and has already formed good relations with a wide variety of influential individuals within the Ward, making her recognizable, approachable, and engaged – and she’s not even elected yet. In addition to that, Park’s experience advocating within the community shows that she has already proven herself capable to do one of the biggest parts of the role of a councilor. Tanya Park seems to be like a candidate that truly just wants to better the state of Ward 13, and eventually London, while having the experience and competency to do so. 

Gordon Saylor // aka “But first- let me take a Selfie” Gordon Saylor

“The most critical issue in this election is what I have been talking to people about – the governance of this city. Governance is the primary job of city council. The current council has governed in a very partisan manner over the past four years. There has been a very clear divide on council and this has hindered the decision-making process. Council has debated issues based on their “left-right” split and not on what is best for the City of London.”

The rest of Gordon’s platform.

Gordon Saylor’s “platform” merely consists of headers of issues that pertain to Ward 13 and links to the plans that London has already developed as solutions. There were more pictures of him than actual constructive and critical platform points. Which is quite unfortunate, because a look at Gordon Saylor’s experience within London would leave you exceedingly impressed. There is no denying that Gordon Saylor has well rounded experience advocating and working in London for a variety of associations and boards including (but not limited to): Urban League of London director, Board of Directors for Covent Garden Market, and Board of Directors on Thames Talbot Land Trust. If Gordon were to be elected, there is no doubt that the experience he brings would be more than beneficial to council however, how do you vote for someone without knowing where they stand on issues?

David Winninger // aka “Not Winning-er”

We reached out to David Winninger, but he did not respond to us. 

Whenever candidates fail to reply it makes us question their ability to fulfill their role within council. How can you successfully advocate and hear the concerns of your ward if you can’t even be bothered to respond to a short e-mail asking for information to make it easier for people to vote for you? Sorry David Winninger, hearing you are super experienced through the grapevine isn’t going to cut it during voting day.

Have questions for your candidates? You can ask them at the upcoming debate:

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 7pm // Central Library – Wolf Performance Hall

Which is unfortunately because it also conflicts with the Mayoral debate on campus:

Mayoral Debate // Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 6:30pm // Mustang Lounge

Pick whichever event you feel you would benefit the most from, and remember that you can vote on-campus this Thursday, October 16th!

And as always, still need information on how to vote, where to vote, and everything in between? We got you covered. Check out our masterpost of all things elections.

Your Guide to Ward 6 Candidates

The reason for this post was because the information on London’s website was inadequate. It did not provide enough information for an informed decision – so we took it upon ourselves. Below you will see all the contact and platform information for each candidate, and as well as whatever platform point they felt they wanted emphasized. Last but not least, we have added a lil’ deVOTEd commentary to liven it up a bit.

Ward 6 aka “The Student District.” If you live anywhere near or on campus, this is your ward.

Ward 6 Map

Alasdair Beaton aka “The Bad Texter”

We reached out to Alsadair Beaton to provide us with information on where to view his platform or connect with him further but unfortunately, he did not reply. Take his response, or lack thereof, as you will. 

Marie Blosh // @marieblosh aka “The lady who talked about cancelling Homecoming”marie

“Rapid bus transit has been talked about in London for many years but it is expensive so little progress has been made. Yet a system that routinely runs buses that are packed so full that they cannot stop to pick up passengers is unacceptable. It is not fair to the passengers or to the bus drivers. Public transit is a key aspect of the proposed London Plan, and if elected to the next council I will use the opportunity to help create the kind of city that it envisions.”

The rest of Marie’s platform.

Marie Blosh is one of the most experienced candidates running, but her experience does not make up for her disregard of the student experience.  Her decision to highlight public transportation seems more strategic for gaining student votes than anything sincere. It is clear within her tweets that she does not handle criticism well and demands that students should show respect to receive it. Majority of students are in fact very respectful to the ward and help drive the economy of the city. Western students give back during Western Serves initiativesWestern USC Good Neighbourhood Clean-Up Campaign, V-Day Western, and so much more. Blosh’s comments and “solutions” for Homecoming prove that she does not have the capabilities or problem solving skills needed to develop and put in effect an action plan that would work for all parties.  In order for Blosh to be an appropriate candidate for Ward 6, she needs to realize the potential students have in aiding the development of the city and stop recycling the “us” vs “them” mentality the city has already placed upon students. With Blosh, we worry students will feel even more alienated within their own ward.

Mike Bloxam // @Mike_Bloxam aka “The Everything Bagel”


“Improve collaboration with Western University and Fanshawe College to share resources and harness research and innovation to build a better London”

The rest of Mike Bloxam’s platform.

Mike Bloxam’s platform is divided into three key buzzwords categories: Integrity, Sustainability, and Prosperity. Bloxam has a lot of great potential solutions for on-going problems in London and seems to be fairly knowledgeable in all aspects which makes him a stand-out candidate. He cares for the overall economic development of London, and we feel he is a better fit for a more permanent role within council to tackle these long-term projects head on. We give Mike bonus points for the idea of an online citizen dashboard where Ward 6 citizens can check out the progress of projects.

Cynthia Etheridge aka “The Carebear”cynthia-etheridge2-300x268

“Improve and maintain infrastructure, including transportation, communication systems, power plants, and schools.”

The rest of Cynthia’s platform.

All of the issues on her platform are issues that most citizens across London would agree are important to them. Overall, Cynthia Etheridge seems to be very “by the people, for the people!” but does not seem like she has any experience in the field or any proper solutions. We admire Cynthia for her true passion for the community and advocacy efforts; where her experience lacks, her genuine care for the community makes up. 

Amir Farahi // @amirfarahi aka “The 19-Year Old”

“London’s downtown small business owners benefit from the significant foot traffic in the downtown late at night. However, the high density of late night foot traffic can lead to costly maintenance bills. London’s taxi drivers work hard, but they cannot service the entire population. Law enforcement does their best to ensure community safety and the safety of late amirnight patrons but they can’t protect everyone and it’s expensive to have officers downtown. Residents of Ward 6 are patient and understanding, but heavy foot traffic from those who choose to walk home late at night can lead to vandalism, noise and disruption. A solution to this problem is for the LTC to run a late night bus on Friday and Saturday nights between the hours of 12am-3am. Doing this will protect our small business owners, save us law enforcement costs, reduce community friction and increase safety for late night customers. As a Ward 6 City Councillor I will work to implement a late-night busing pilot program.”

The rest of Amir’s platform.

Any trepidation of Amir’s age fades away swiftly when you read his clear platform or listen to him during debates. If we as students want London to start taking us seriously, Amir might be the first big step. One of our favorite points of Amir’s platform is aiming to lower voting age to 16 to increase youth participation in democracy – he sees (however idealistic) the potential in youth taking on active roles within their city. He is a student candidate, but he’s a standout one at that. His experience on LYAC (London Youth Advisory Council) makes him one of the top candidates in terms of overall knowledge (especially of the city), experience, and capability. He is an advocate we look forward to seeing more from (and will be seeing more from).

Flavio Iannialice aka “The Ghost”

Flavio Iannialice seems to be the ghost candidate. We never see him at debates, his contact information is nowhere that is easily accessible, and quite frankly, we are a little confused as to how someone so absent plans to be a councillor. His e-mail isn’t even listed on the Candidate page.

Phil Squire // @SquirePhil aka “Affordable Housing”Phil

“Intention to pursue the creation of a rapid bus transit system in the City of London”  (though we failed to find this on his actual platform…)

The rest of Phil Squire’s platform.

Phil seems to be knowledgeable on budgeting and seems fairly focused on making life easier for the families within Ward 6. We were a bit sad to see that Phil had nothing on his platform that would ease the lives of students and that when we need something advocated for, his focus may lay elsewhere. Nothing on Phil’s platform stands out among the other candidates’ platforms and his focus is very narrowed into working on affordable housing.

We hope we have been able to take the mildly boring out of municipal elections. If you’re not a fan of words, you can watch the candidates All-Candidates’ Meeting debate (Spoiler: longer than 3 minutes).

Have questions for your candidates? You can ask them at these debates:

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 7 pm // Cherryhill Mall Library

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 6:30pm // USC Meet & Greet in the Mustang Lounge (right before the Mayoral debate)

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 6:30 pm // London Muslim Mosque

Still need information on how to vote, where to vote, and everything in between? We got you covered. Check out our masterpost of all things elections. Also check out The Gazette’s own coverage of each of the Ward 6 candidates.

London Elections Masterpost

Why make voting any harder than it has to be? We have complied a list resources all about the London municipal elections (or scroll to the bottom for the calendar)

This upcoming election you have the chance to vote for London’s mayor and your ward representative. Check out the list of mayoral and ward candidates. Is that list barren and useless? We thought so too, so keep an eye out for more information about the candidates posted by yours truly, The Gazette, and other USC outlets. For now, check out The Gazette’s spotlight on each mayoral candidate and our Twitter for up to date information.

Don’t know what ward you’re in? Check out the ward map, but we’ll make it easier on you – you’re probably in ward 6 or 13.

Edit: Here’s more coverage about each of the candidates in Ward 6 and Ward 13. (Link is to our Ward Candidate Guides)

There will also be debates leading up to voting day, and if you’re interested in attending any of them check out the all candidates meeting list.

TO VOTE - you can either vote on campus on October 16th or vote at your designated polling location on October 27th. Enter your address on the Where Do I Vote? app to figure out where that is. When you go to vote, you need to bring any government issued I.D. and proof of address. To obtain proof of your London address go to westernvotes to print out a letter.

Facebook events:

Voting On Campus aka WesternVotes

Mustang Lounge Mayoral Debate

Now if you’ve lost your appetite for words, here’s a graphic treat:

Elections Calendar

An Interview with USC VP Student Events Sam Kilgour

Ever wonder who is behind all the events that happen on campus? From O-Week, to cotton candy in the UCC, to Charity Ball, your USC VP Student Events has a hand in making all these events happen! We want to thank all the USC executives that we interviewed for participating. Don’t forget to check out our interviews with USC President Matt Helfand and USC VP External Jen Carter.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I started my undergrad at Huron University College in 2010 and graduated with a degree in BMOS and a specialization in Global Studies this past summer. I was a two-time Huron soph, and the co-president of Huronopoly – the Huron Board Gaming Society. I was a member of the 2013 Orientation Staff, which sparked my interest in USC Programming on a large scale.

What events do students have to look forward to? 

Now that September (and O-Week, and Clubs Week, and the Volunteer Fair, and Homecoming) are/is complete, get ready for the rest of the year! For October, there will be a tailgating event run in The Spoke coinciding with a major sporting event, and the Charity Haunted House in the Mustang Lounge. November has the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony, a Theatre Western play at The Grand, and the Children’s Holiday Party. January holds the iconic Charity Ball, while February has the Super Bowl Party and Purple Shorts. March has another Theatre Western Production as well as the Reverie Arts Festival. Look out for other events such as concerts and speaking events to fill the gaps between school and life!

Calendar of Events

Too many words Sam! We decided to create a quick graphic to lay it all out for you guys – remember we didn’t include any concerts/speaking events he has planned

What are your goals for yourself as a leader? 

My goal is to help others become leaders. I have had my time in the weeds in programming, and I want others to have the opportunities I had throughout my university experience. If I can help others realize their dreams through programming, I will have had a successful year, and hopefully my successor was given appropriate breathing room as they work their way up, and now feels inclined to give that same space to the new members of their portfolio. I would love for my long-lasting impact with the USC to be this shift in culture.

Fun question! – If you had an unlimited budget, who would you bring for a concert?

I would start by constructing a life size volcano to have the concert in front of, but it erupts on my command. Then, the lineup would include Eh440 (a Capella), Brad Paisley (country) Maroon 5 (pop), JET (rock), and Audien (EDM) so that we have a concert that caters to as many people as possible! By the way, the volcano erupts llamas instead of lava.

An Interview with USC VP External Jen Carter

New year means new USC executive! We decided to take advantage of their 3 day e-mail policy, and give them a chance to answer some questions and hopefully reflect on their roles within student government. Things could get pretty busy for the USC executive, so we appreciate all of them taking the time to answer students. Don’t forget to check out our interview with USC President Matt Helfand and stay tuned for interviews with your VP Internal and VP Student Events.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I just graduated from King’s with my honors specialization in criminology. I got involved with the USC through my involvement with the King’s University College Students’ Council where I volunteered as the promo team commissioner and the sociology faculty representative. I then served as president of the KUCSC before running for Vice President External.

Briefly describe what is under your portfolio. (What issues are students able to approach you for?)

Under my portfolio is municipal, provincial and federal advocacy on behalf of a Western students. I work with the city, the province and the federal government to represent the interests of Western students and make life for students at Western a little bit better.

What are your goals for yourself as a leader? (i.e. How do you plan on staying grounded/focused/relaxed?)

I have learned that I am a much better person when I take the time to go to the gym. Physical activity is a great way to keep the stress of the job under control and I have found it to be a great way to clear my head and think. I also have a dog that I love, and spending time outdoors with him is one of the best parts of my day!

What are you goals for the USC this year? (Anything in particular that you wish you see change from last year?)

Myself and my executive this year are really working to make sure that the USC is more personal. Coming from an affiliate, I love the chance to interact with students, so if you see me around, I would be more than happy to join you at the Spoke for a coffee.

Fun question! – What is your favorite place to visit in London outside of the Western bubble?

Trailsend Farmers Market – it’s kind of far away, and you will definitely need a car, but I promise you it is more than worth it. You can do your groceries for a whole week for under $20 and the environment there is the best.

How do plan on keeping students engaged during the municipal elections? Why is important that students get involved and stay informed with municipal elections? (Be specific with your plan on bridging the gap between students and the upcoming municipal election)

It’s really difficult to make elections a sexy issue for students. The message I would really like to get across is that while one vote might not have that much weight, 30,000 do. This year, 98% of students picked up their bus passes, so we know that students use the LTC on a very regular basis. There are some great changes that we can make to transit in London but we definitely need to work together to make that happen.

This year we have worked to make voting a lot more accessible to students. Western students can now visit to print a letter to verify their local address at the polls. There will also be a mayoral debate on campus on October 15th at 7pm in the mustang lounge where students will be able to interact with the candidates.

You have very strong goals for OSAP that are long-term (for example, lowering the debt cap), How do you plan on achieving this in your months left as VP External?

Provincial lobby goals are extremely difficult to follow through with, but are important to set in order to start a long-term advocacy plan. With the new liberal majority government, there will be some stability in the government. This means we will have some time to work on long terms goals. Right now, there is $300 million dollars in the system that is spent on tax credits. Only about 11% of undergraduate students actually make enough money to qualify for these tax credits and in order to make the best investment possible, we need to make the best of what money we already have in the PSE (post-secondary education) sector. Reinvesting this money could result in a variety of even upfront grants including expanding the eligibility for the Ontario tuition grant and expanding OSAP eligibility to part-time students.

An Interview with USC President Matt Helfand

New year means new USC executive! We decided to take advantage of their 3 day e-mail policy, and give them a chance to answer some questions -and hopefully reflect on their roles within student government. Things could get pretty busy for the USC executive, so we appreciate all of them taking the time to answer students. (Stay tuned for interviews with your VP Internal, VP External, and VP Student Events)


Tell us a bit about yourself:

Greetings, deVOTED readers! My name is Matt Helfand and I have the distinct pleasure of serving this year as president of your University Students’ Council. I studied political science during my time at Western, focusing on various aspects of political theory, international political economy and a bit of local government. This is my second year in student government, having served in 2012/2013 as President of the Social Science Students’ Council. I have also participated in the UWO Debate Society and varsity intramurals. Sadly, I’ve never won a purple shirt.

What are your goals for yourself as a leader? (i.e. How do you plan on staying grounded/focused/relaxed?)

One of the most important things for any leader is to be surrounded by a good team. I have a great team. The role of USC president is challenging and the job is a daunting task for anyone, myself included. I place a lot of trust in the people around me – in the rest of the USC executive, our student leaders, and our full-time staff. The role has significant responsibilities, privileges and duties that should not be taken lightly. Decisions can be difficult, and not everything can be a win.

All that being said, my goal is to take everything in stride, work as hard as I possibly can, and try and make the Western community proud. My capacity to genuinely do well by those around me keeps me energized and focused.

What are your goals for the USC this year? (Anything in particular that you wish you see change from last year?)

My team and I have many goals for the year with regards to the entire organization. A few priorities among our many goals are:
1. Rethinking of homecoming celebrations.
2. Creating a new process for the Student Services Committee, to enhance access to, and quality of, health and wellness services on campus.
3. Developing an Appeals Board for the USC.
4. Increasing the efficiency of Council meetings.

With a one-year term, there is only so much that can be accomplished and there are a lot of unanticipated issues that come up throughout the year. One thing that I do control is the type of president that I am. I hope to be remembered as a president who was visible, energetic, helpful to others and someone who gets s**t done.

Fun question! – what is your Spoke order?

Turkey Club w/ Sprouts on Jalapeno Cheddar Bagel.

How do you plan to keep students informed and engaged with what you are doing this year? (Be specific)

This year, we’re placing a big emphasis on student engagement in our budgeting and strategic planning process. Getting feedback from the broadest swath of the student body means we’ll be able to prioritize the USC’s long-term direction along the lines of what students really want.

On a personal note, I’ve committed to answering e-mails from all students within three business days. I hope that, for students across campus, knowing the President of the USC is fully accessible will mean a greater willingness to engage with the organization.

How do you maintain focus on your original platform goals while accommodating the administration’s long term/larger goals? (Can you speak to the progress of some of your platform promises i.e. the USC fee freeze, or education surrounding the student donation fee?)

One thing that I learned quite quickly is that the role of USC president, or any USC executive for that matter, is WAY bigger than a platform. That said, I have always been confident in the points put forth in the Team Helfand platform and I remain confident in the Team Helfand platform. We will release a more comprehensive platform progress report in the near future. But, since you asked, a little preview:

Homecoming: The reviews are still coming in, but I think it’s safe to say that the USC’s Homecoming Celebration on Concrete Beach was a huge success. Western students rocked out with Gord Bamford, enjoyed a pancake breakfast courtesy of Alumni Western and basically partied their faces off… In a responsible and controlled manner.

Base Fee Freeze: This point was #1 on the platform for a reason. I am unwavering in my belief that the USC should avoid raising the base fee as a means to provide specific services (inflation notwithstanding… I’m not former London Mayor Joe Fontana). My arguments today are the same as when I first sought to implement a USC base fee freeze in 2013. I believe they are adequately captured in these gazette articles:

USC Base Fee Freeze (part 1)

USC reviews Fee Freeze (part 2)

This is my opinion. While I may be president, I greatly respect the authority of the Council and the Board of Directors in the budgeting process. I recognize that for the freeze to be achieved, I will be required to present a compelling case as to why this is the best decision the USC can make for students. We’re at the beginning of our budgeting process now and I look forward to providing more information as that process plays out.

Education surrounding donation fees: Student Donation Fees are faculty specific, with each faculty responsible for administering opt-outs. We’re exploring different ways that the USC can support an educational campaign that will make sense for all students and we will be continuing to have a discussion with faculty presidents on the matter.

Appeals Board: As this is being written and published, a draft by-law that would establish a USC Appeals Board has passed our Governance Committee and has been submitted to council. I am so proud of how the draft turned out and I look forward to seeing the input from the Council as a whole.

Municipal Outreach: I want to acknowledge the amazing work of Jen, our VP External, in putting together an amazing campaign to “Get Out The Vote” for the upcoming municipal election. Keep an eye out for it over the next month.

Microwaves and Food Indicators: I also want to acknowledge Emily, our VP Internal, who has done an excellent job of fulfilling our promise to roll out more microwaves across campus and redevelop our campus food-labeling at the Wave & the Spoke to better inform students about their options. There are also a number of other projects that Emily has been actively pursuing, that we look forward to releasing in the future.

How do you plan to get the smaller things accomplished when you have to prioritize bigger tasks? (Good job on the microwave promise – it does not go unnoticed)

You are indeed correct to state that there are a lot of large priorities within the University. As USC president, I often have the privilege of engaging in these topics at a very high level. That said, I do my best to remember the little ways that I can use my role to enhance the experience of students. I like to call these little things proverbial ‘potholes’, with reference to the duty that municipal political leaders have to keep the roads in good shape. A pothole can be a small item of a municipal leader’s agenda, but it is something that greatly impacts constituents. I do my best to try and bounce back and forth between the high-level conversations and the small items. It can be a challenge, but if you surround yourself with the right people it can be accomplished.

If you can say one thing to the undergraduate students at Western, what would it be?

Avoid mediocrity and complacency – those things are boring.



The USC stands for the University Students’ Council. Here at deVOTEd, we’d like to focus on the U – as in you. As students who still naively believe in the power of student government, we want break through the fog of student apathy and create a space where students can share, debate, and critique student politics. This blog is all about you and those who represent you.

Our goals for this year are to help keep you informed about the issues surrounding your student government, and to decrease student apathy about issues that matter to you one post at a time. There is a lot that goes on in the USC, our focus will be on the events* that will have the greatest impact on you the students.

What to expect:

  • Interviews with your student representatives
  • Elections coverage
  • Constant coverage on Twitter: @devoteduwo  –tweet us, we’d love to hear from you!
  • Sharing of articles about student issues

Call for volunteers!

But of course, all this would not be possible without the help of others who feel the same as we do. We are always looking for student volunteers with a heart for student issues. You do not have to be part of the USC or have any experience, just e-mail us for ways to get involved at:


*For example, the controversy regarding the use of the the Student Donation Fund by the SSSC (Social Science Student Council) to cover administrative costs.

With that, we bid you adieu

Since January of 2012, deVOTEd has gone through 3 election seasons, uploaded 110 blog posts, reached 182 Twitter followers (Highlight: becoming best friends with Brescia Girl), and received 23 109 total views.

Wow. The last couple of years of helping out with deVOTEd have been quite the experience.

This blog started off when Stephen Yu enticed a group of students, who were all just super interested in USC Elections, to start a blog of their own!

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SSSC Elections 2014

We have a special tie with the Social Science Students’ Council, as we were members of it back in our days, which is why we are informing y’all on who is running for this year’s Executive Team and Department Representatives. It’s not that we don’t love all the other constituencies, but home is where the heart is!

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