This Wednesday the SAC elections begin. Who will you vote for? Will you vote at all? Certainly this year has been witness to numerous fiascos. The CFS referendum (including recent developments) and Rocco’s ill-fated soiree, among other scandals, have made many question whether or not SAC should even exist or not.
Assuming that they should, however, it might be a good idea to know who to vote for when (and if) you log on to ROSI this week. Following tradition, The Varsity hereby presents its own short run-down of the presidential candidates.
They break down into two groups—the heavyweights, and the challengers. The heavyweights, Paul Bretscher and Ashley Morton, have the most experience and the most developed platforms of the five candidates.
Paul and “Students United” is a coalition of people (including Alexandra Artful-Dodger and Mohammed Hashim) running for a number of SAC VP positions along with Paul’s presidential campaign. They are the pro-CFS ticket, and their platform is aimed generally at more student involvement in SAC, and a CFS-style health plan.
Ashley Morton, the other heavy, is part of a similar “ticket”—a number of people running for various positions in SAC and on the Governing Council. Theirs is a “campaign without an ideology”—no central defining theme, but several main ideas. These include more transparency (such as publishing SAC spending reports in student media outlets), more online services to make club levy opt-ins and similar choices more convenient for students, and a more flexible health plan with several new options that students can add to their existing coverage if desired.
The challengers—Justin Kim, Michael Andreae, and Mark Freeman are relative unknowns. They all appear to have a lot of interesting ideas, although not a lot of really big ones.
Justin Kim stands out amongst the three with a platform that seems aimed at making SAC more relevant to students—including plans for a SAC magazine, a revamped HangaR / student centre, a SAC scholarship, and even a talent show.
Michael Andreae doesn’t seem to have much in the way of a platform, other than wider representation for students (particularly at St. Mikes).
Mark Freeman’s platform seems to have a lot of little, interesting ideas (such as transcripts that include extracurricular activities and rooftop gardens), and more involvement generally between students, and with SAC. This would include intercollegiate parties and electronic info boards.
Of course, many of the platforms include the standard tuition freezes and “more accountability.” On top of that, a general theme of increased SAC relevance seems to run through each of these campaigns. In fact, changes in SAC’s election system has resulted in many more positions that students can run for, and thus more candidates than ever before in SAC’s history. Maybe this will mean students will care more and SAC might even break the 9 per cent barrier for voter turnout.
So, whom should you vote for? Our money’s on Ashley Morton—he’s got an experienced team, and he’s not a mouthpiece for the CFS. But don’t just take our word for it—if you want to make sure you’re represented, get out there and see who these people are, and make an informed vote on ROSI before Friday.
Illustration by Dan Phelps