The StFX Council Chambers saw an eventful evening on Monday as candidates Elizabeth Gushue and Iain MacLellan outlined their positions at the 2016/17 Frosh Councilor Debate hosted by The Xaverian Weekly.
Before the polls close today at 4 p.m., students will cast their votes to determine who will become the Students’ Union First Year Representative and the voice for frosh at StFX throughout the school year.
“The successful candidate will be sitting on the Bylaw and Policy Committee of the Student Union,” said Brandon Hamilton, Chair of Council. “Meaning they will assist with drafting, editing, and reviewing the Bylaws and Policies of the SU.”
Put simply, this candidate will be responsible for bringing concerns to the Students’ Union on behalf of all first year students.
Though Monday’s debate lacked specifics in regards to plans or initiatives, each candidate presented a clear image of their respective approach to the issues and the role they hope to take as members of the Students’ Union.
Gushue, hailing from Sussex, New Brunswick, pinpointed communication as a major issue for young people today and aims to connect with students via social media, societies, and her participation on various sports teams. Currently living in Mount Saint Bernard, she hopes to make an everlasting impact at StFX and to create a welcoming environment on campus.
Antigonish native MacLellan boasted a platform of transparency and publicity, adding that his strong relationship with the House Presidents would benefit him as Frosh Councilor. Studying Business, the candidate is staying in Burke and acts as a Regional Ambassador for 4-H.
Regarding the topic of sexual violence on college campuses, the candidates were asked how they would respond if an incident of sexual assault was brought to their attention.
Gushue’s response involved consulting with RAs and the campus Health and Counselling Centre, while MacLellan spoke candidly about his lack of confidence approaching such a situation.
“I don’t know exactly how to deal with it,” MacLellan said. “But I’d give resources like the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) program” (Contact SANE at 1-877-880-7263(SANE) for more information on their confidential services).
Both candidates were active participants on Student Council during high school where they conducted themselves professionally as they coordinated with students, parents, staff, and community members.
Moreover, Gushue and MacLellan alike emphasized the importance for students to make a difference in their communities, both on and off-campus.
If she’s not elected, Gushue still hopes to be involved and help out with the house board.
“Vote for whoever you like,” MacLellan said. “And I’ll respect that.”
Cast your vote online at vote.theu.ca or visit one of the various polling stations across campus. Polling locations include the Bloomfield Centre (SUB), Nicholson Hall, and Morrison Hall.
Election results will be announced on Thursday at the Students’ Union Annual General Meeting.
Stay informed! The Xaverian Weekly will also host an All-Candidates Social Debate with those running in the Municipal Election at the Golden X Inn on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to all ages.