USC Candidates Interview Part 1: Talking Platform

USC Candidates Interview Part 1: Talking Platform


Hey Western, I’m Lexie Misterski. And today
I’m going to be sitting down and interviewing your USC presidential candidates. Let’s see
what they have to say. I’m here with USC presidential candidate Victoria Barroso, and I’m here with
Keenen Q. Matt Reesor, Aleesha Rehill, we’re going to start with a couple questions about
your platform. So first of all, why did you decide to run for USC president? So I personally decided to run just because
I feel like there’s a lot of problems on campus and there’s not enough action just because
it seems like there’s like this USC bubble and like a lot of students are out of touch
with the USC or the USC is out of touch with a lot of students, and that there’s things
such as mental health, which is a priority for a lot of students. And the USC has been
busy focused on other aspects. And so for me, that’s a huge reason as well as diversity
and representation has been lacking in my past experience working as orientation
coordinator, I got to be in London and work with the USC executives all summer. I really
got to see their roles and it was really exciting to, you know, learn from the inside. But then
as I moved off campus after living in residence for three years, I really began to see the
disconnect that students have with the USC. And I really also just want to make sure that
students know that they have more options in their presidential candidates. But really
also just want to see some change on campus, especially after the racism incident last
semester, just really want people to know that, you know, there are people who will
fight for them. And it’s been a while since I’ve seen I mean, I haven’t seen a woman run.
So that’s really exciting. And I think a woman of color is also a really exciting stance
to look at from For me it was because I remember being in
first year and never having imagined this is a possibility and I remember seeing who
is in power and and only seeing that as there’s only the one type of person that could be
there. And I go, you know what, that’s unfortunately not who I see myself as kind of throughout
my time at Western, I end up finding my way into like the orientation program and seeing
that you know what my leadership style. All will be different is just as effective. If
not, in my opinion, exactly what the UFC needs moving forward in the sense of having a human
and having someone who just genuinely wants to speak to students and generally just cares.
And so I think that’s for me. It was something that came out of a lot of thought and a lot
of introspection and just realizing the fact that I am here for the right reasons. And
it’s not just a check off a box. But it’s it’s something that I feel like I can bring
something unique to I started following USC elections in first
year, I was like, repeatedly frustrated to, to only see men running. And I always said
to myself, I made myself a little progress. And I said, if there was no female president,
by the time I was in fourth year, it was my turn to run. And I would do it, moving through
faculty Council on the USC and getting to know a little bit more about how the USC works.
And seeing actually what it can do for students made me really motivated to want to be in
this role, because I feel like it really has the capacity to make a lot of change. Our
next question is what do you think sets you apart from your opponents, my approachability because I think it’s one
of those things that’s a bit of an intangible, I think it’s something that I do bring that
just is kind of intrinsic to who I am. And it’s just my genuine care for people and loving
hearing people’s stories and people and hearing about their days. And and I think that’s been
lacking in some senses in the USC that it’s become a little bit too rigid and a little
bit too formal. But for me, a lot of it does come down to people want a human, they want
to see a student in someone that they can empathize with, at the head of this organization
and showing that, yeah, I’m still and in terms of the word, student leader is still a student,
but also happened to be the leader and the person who executes my, like tangible experiences that I have.
Just because I’ve been in a role very similar to the one that we’re all running for now.
At the faculty level, you know, I’ve managed an executive team, I’ve supported them in
their portfolios, our councils, over 50 people, so it’s very comparable to the USC and I think
I have like done as much as I possibly could to prepare myself for this role and really
understand what I’m getting myself into. And I’ve talked to a lot of students and come
up with a really comprehensive platform and I think that’s what sets me apart. I’m like, sort of removed from that USC bubble,
like I’m not a soph, I haven’t been involved with the UFC. And so I’m someone who’s in
third year, someone who’s a bit younger than the other candidates and who’s, like ready
to take on the charge and fight for students. Because I know that after my term, if I were
to be elected as President, I would still have to be at Western for another two years.
And so I would want to see the change that I’ve done and hold myself accountable. I think what’s really important for me, is
just very clear what my priority is, as a president. I think, in the one year term that
we have, there’s only so much change that we can make. So I think it’s really important
that we pick something as a candidate that we say this is what is important to me or
I’m holding near and dear to my heart. And for me, that’s equity and inclusion and I
think that’s what sets me apart from my other candidates is that’s my priority, especially
being from a, you know, brown background. You know, I’ve definitely experienced different
things on campus than, I think, many other students have. So I think that’s what sets
me apart is that I can, I’m not just sympathizing with students, but I’m genuinely empathizing
with situations and things that they’re going through, because I’ve been through a few of
them myself. So what part of your platform are you most
excited to implement? And how are you going to see that through? So the seventh pillar of my platform is recognition.
And I’m really excited to be able to work with student groups on campus and really highlight
what they’ve been doing that I think has been under wraps for a long time. And I think there
are so many different students that are doing so much to contribute to our campus community,
and nobody knows about a lot of it. I’m probably the most excited to like get to show the rest
of campus, what different groups of students are doing, because it’s really incredible.
I think, for me, what I’m really excited about is the strategic plan renewal. I’m really
excited for that because we don’t get to look at the next four years on our campus and really
think critically about bigger changes. I think it’s one thing to put you know, those realistic
things that you’ll get done on your platform. But with the strategic plan, you have the
opportunity to think so big and think big picture and I really do want to see dramatic
change on our campus in four years, I really want students to feel more included. I want
community to be built. I really want students to understand what it means to go to Western,
Huron, Brescia, Kings and feel so proud of that. But I think a lot of students are leaving
here being like, I never found my niche. I never found what I vibe with at Western. So
I want students to see that you know, they’re connected to our campus. And I really think
thinking big picture about changes we need to see and drafting that up and putting it
on paper is so powerful and will set the next four years for success. The sustainability
aspects of it from our debate last night, just minutes before, one of my team actually
found my Facebook page for me running for Prime Minister when I was 13. And it had a
post about me saying oh, I’m not trying to put up posters because I’m trying not to make
waste. Nearly 10 years later and I’m still fighting that same fight that 13 year old
Matt wanted to do as well. In terms of seeing it through I think we’ve done a lot of research
and I’ve reached out to a lot of really plugged-in people within these realms as well as I’ve
dedicated a lot of my studies here at Western to environmental policy. It’s a tangible way
that I can actually execute what I’ve learned about and what I’ve talked to my friends about.
So I’m extremely excited for that aspect, that I can make genuine change, I’d say I’m most excited to implement the
supporting students aspect just because it involves so many different communities on
campus, whether that’s having a Greek life coordinator or multifaith coordinator, or
doing things such as like the Halal and Kosher microwaves, a host of things in my supporting
students, which is the “S” in my smart platform, the SMART. Amazing, awesome. So this is a bit of a tough
one, but in three words, what does best student experience mean to you? I would say inclusive, I’ll say safe, and
I will say welcoming community, fun. well-being, I would say development, support, community building, unique, personal whereas
it still feels like it’s for you, exciting. polls are opening at 8am on February 3rd,
and closing at 8pm on the 4th. There’ll be voters stations all over campus as well as
voting online. So make sure you come out and vote for your candidate. If you like what
you saw, be sure to check out any of our other videos and as always, be sure to like, share
and subscribe. Catch you later Western

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