Shelby McPhee: Thank you for accompanying me on this journey

Earlier tonight, I congratulated Kyle Vandertoorn on being democratically elected to the highest office within our union. As I did during our discussion, I do openly and I commit myself to working along with our president to create a bigger, better, and inclusive student body. It is my hope, that our president-elect can deliver such a dream and be a president to all students.

This is not the outcome that we wanted, and it certainly isn’t the outcome that we worked so hard far; but it is the will of our great student body. To each of you that sent countless messages about change or personally told me what change meant to you, I am forever grateful for all the support that you gave me during this campaign. To every volunteer, I could never repay you for believing in such a big idea as this one. We built a big and colourful campaign, that encompassed everyone on the political spectrum and- regardless of age, sex, sexuality or race-they believed with us; and for that I am proud.

To my supporters, I know how disappointed you feel, I feel that too. However, I am confident, now more than ever, that the state of our union will be strong. I whole heartedly believe that Kyle will make us the student union that we have been designed to be, and further make known throughout Canada a type of Acadia exceptionalism.

Truthfully, we expected something like this to happen, but we knew that we needed it to do it. We needed little black boys and girls to know that a glass ceiling had been cracked, making it much easier to be shattered. You’re hurt, I know you are, but remember the true purpose for this pain.

I believe in change. I believe that change is good and whether or not you participated in it, I do believe that change is inevitable. Last night, Acadia University made a decision about which side of that change she’d like to be on, and we must honour that. Nevertheless, I am incredibly honoured to have had this opportunity to represent so many of you in this journey. Thank you for believing in me; thank you for believing in us! Thank you for allowing me to speak on your behalf, never forgetting for one second that it was not about me, but it was about us. Thank you for accompanying me on this journey.

In 2017, I began this journey, and in a few months, I will be ending it. Acadia has made me who I am. Truthfully, I am stronger because of this family. In my last few months here, I hope to be a strength for our incoming president, I hope to give them the wisdom that I have gained during my tenure here. Most of all though, I hope to continue working toward creating a more inclusive student body, one that will always be open to new possibilities.