Laurier students from both the Brantford and Waterloo campuses gathered on January 27 in the Lumberjack Lounge at Grand River Hall for the Wilfrid Laurier University Students Union (WLUSU) elections open forum. David Prang, Director of Student Services, moderated the forum. Candidates running for positions such as Brantford Campus Council (BCC), Board of Directors and President all presented their election platforms and answered questions posed by the audience.
With only five candidates vying for four BCC seats, each feel they have the wealth of experience necessary to represent the students of Laurier Brantford.
Nick Savage is a second-year Leadership student actively involved in the Leadership Student’s Association. Cameron McGregor is a third-year Concurrent Education student who, for the second consecutive year, is a member of the Residence Life Staff. Sue Matthews is a second-year Concurrent Education student and Vice President of the Laurier Brantford Diversity Club. Amanda Thomas is a third-year Journalism student who sits as Vice President of Recruitment for Journalists for Human Rights. Courtney Skye is a second-year Leadership student and a college transfer who is founder of the Ladies & Gents WLU Students for Gender Equality.
Both McGregor and Matthews are running for election for the second time, after losing last year, McGregor by only a handful of votes. Matthews showed that she’s maintaining a positive outlook on the loss, telling the crowd that this year she is returning with a “stronger, wiser, more competitive attitude.”
Members of the audience had the opportunity to ask the candidates a number of questions, including visibility of the BCC, the unique connections available to the Brantford Campus, how the BCC ensures they’re focused on best representing the campus, and the biggest factor missing from the Brantford experience.
To help increase visibility around campus, Skye feels that WLUSU should “shamelessly exploit and advertise [themselves].” She notes that she sees WLUSU as an involved organization, but very subtly, and the institution needs to work on branding themselves around campus.
Matthews notes that there isn’t one specific connection that Laurier Brantford needs to capitalize on more than the other, but notes that “Brantford has a lot to offer” and says that the city values Laurier’s presence and we should make use of this.
Thomas says the best way to make sure the BCC represents the campus is by going directly to students to find out what they want to see. She feels that personal interaction with the students she represents is the one of the greatest ways to see what the students want from their school.
When talking about what’s missing from the campus experience, Savage looks to Laurier Waterloo as a model Laurier Brantford could follow as it continues to grow. He cites needs such as bigger gym facilities and a cafeteria, though he mentions that he only wants to get the ball rolling on the issue. Instead of promising these facilities to students, he wants to “come up with a feasible design” that could be used as the basis for growth in the future.
McGregor notes a campus-wide feeling of a need for more diversity programming. He spoke about the Laurier Brantford Rainbow Alliance and Ladies & Gents and says the campus should focus on making the diverse community a stronger self.
Each candidate hopes to represent Laurier Brantford as part of the BCC and encourage students to vote on Wednesday, February 4th.