The Acadia Students’ Union Fall By-Election debate, moderated by Chief Returning Officer Sacha Russo and Deputy Chief Returning Officer Evan Shergold, took place in the Michener Lounge on the evening of September 24th, 2018. This debate included candidates for the two positions that are up for election – First Year Officer and Equity Officer.
Here’s what they had to say:
First Year Officer
Kristi Stewart: As a politics student from small town PEI, Stewart spoke to the importance of “being involved, not only in [her] school, but [her] community.” With experience as president of her high school’s student council, Stewart would like to act as the voice of first year students, and to be able to connect them to what they want to do. Stewart believes that three important values of a First Year Officer are open-mindedness, responsibility, and confidence. One project she is passionate about is a stress relief week, filled with yoga and meditation, to act as an escape from school stress for a little while. She shared that she is excited about every committee that the First Year Officer sits on. If elected, Stewart says that she will strive to make sure first years are involved and connected. More information on her campaign can be found in her candidate writeup here.
Blake Steeves: Sporting his cowboy boots and ball cap, Steeves, a business major, states that he has not experienced student council before, but he is excited about the opportunities it holds. Steeves believes that three important values of a First Year Officer would be leadership, which he has experience with as the captain of his hockey team, as well a fun-loving personality and confidence. One project that Steeves would be interested in is finding new ways to give money to charities such as S.M.I.L.E. and the Cancer Society through different fundraising events. If elected, Steeves says he is most excited to sit on the Student Life Committee, and three words he would use to describe himself would be fun, reasonable, and enjoyable. If elected, Steeves would like to make this year fun and memorable for all students. More information on his campaign can be found in his candidate writeup here.
Hunter Murchison-Doggart: As a politics major, Hunter Murchison-Doggart is interested in helping others, and is happy that she has the opportunity to run for First Year Officer. Murchison-Doggart states that leadership, responsibility, and confidence are all necessary for such position, because it is a big deal to represent so many students. When asked about a project she would be interested in, Murchison-Doggart stated that she would like to help expand the Relay for Life, because not all schools have the opportunity to offer that. If elected, Murchison-Doggart would be most interested in the Student Life Committee and creating a school that feels more like a family. Three words she would use to describe herself would be fun, confident, and responsible. Murchison-Doggart states that her goal, if elected, would be to create a sense of community at Acadia. More information on her campaign can be found in her candidate writeup here.
Chantal Peng: Peng was absent from the Fall By-Election Debate and she has since withdrawn from the race, according to Chief Returning Officer Sacha Russo.
Ruvimbo Chipazi: Third-year psychology major Ruvimbo Chipazi shared that, for most of her life here at Acadia, she lived in her “own little bubble,” until she began working with the University. Chipazi wants to bring underrepresented groups on campus information about the many opportunities around them, and she feels that three essential values of an Equity Officer are empathy, organization, and leadership. One project Chipazi expressed interest in was expanding a cultural exchange night on campus, as well as mental health week. To her, an equitable campus means realizing the difference between equality and equity, and “giving resources to the groups or clubs that need that extra step from the ASU.” Three words she would use to describe herself would be weird, open-minded, and enigmatic. If elected, Chipazi “wants to represent diversity, not just physical diversity…but also diversity when it comes to perspectives, values, ideas, sexual orientation, (and) age.” More information on her campaign can be found in her candidate writeup here.
Kate Hamre: As a third year Kinesiology major, Kate Hamre shared that she is very active in campus life. Whether it be her house council presidency, membership on the Acadia Kinesiology Society, or one of many other clubs, Hamre states that she has noticed the vast amount of diversity on campus. Hamre cites her interest in connecting people to resources and events that they might not have known about, and three values she thinks are important for an Equity Officer would be approachability, creativeness, and responsibility. One project she would be interested in would be creating an international trivia night for all students. Hamre’s definition of an equitable campus would be one where “everybody feels like they belong and that their voice is heard.” Hamre would describe herself as approachable, positive/happy, and creative. If elected, she would like to make all students across campus feel represented and heard. More information on her campaign can be found in her candidate writeup here.
Voting for these positions will take place between 8:30 AM on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 and 4:00 PM on Friday, September 28th, 2018. Students can login into Acadia Central at https://central2.acadiau.ca/elections/asu to vote anytime until the close of the polls.
Ailish Bergin is a second-year Politics major and columnist at The Athenaeum