Month: January 2015

A Guide to Student Politics: For the Candidates

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 4.06.48 PMToo often, we talk about the voters. This is for the candidates. Having been a candidate at least a half-a-dozen times for various races, I remember what you’re feeling. You’re working through the busiest and most chaotic weeks of yourself. Don’t forget to enjoy it.

  • The race will be difficult: anonymous twitter accounts, harsh media criticism, angry comments and personal attacks. Invest in thick skin.
  • When the smallest item of your platform becomes a sticking point, find a way out. Stop talking about it, change the subject, bring up a new idea. The campaign is too short to get stuck on a small issue.

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A Guide to Student Politics: And They’re Off! Well, Half of Them

And here we go again. The most wonderful time of the year is finally upon us—the Federation of Students elections, of course.

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Team Gold off to a running start, but without anyone else.

I don’t know what it is about the Federation of Students Exec elections, but every single year, one team kicks off right at midnight… and one doesn’t. I watch the elections at Laurier, Western*, Queens, and Waterloo, and Waterloo is the only one that seems to do this.

This year is no different. Somewhere around 1AM, Team Gold’s website was up and running, and their candidates had introduced their candidacy on Facebook and Twitter. Flash forward to this morning and there’s not website in sight from Team Fusion (the next largest team), Team Purple Crush (which may or may not be a joke), or any of the independents. (more…)

A Guide to Student Politics: Election Season is Coming!

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 3.50.24 PMIT’S ELECTION SEASON!

This is the first year in a very long time that I have no connection to the student union elections happening across the province in the next few months. I’m not running; I’m not preparing to run; I’m not supporting a particular candidate or candidate(s). Instead, I can watch from the sidelines. I forgot how much fun that is.

Once a year, candidates sprint across campus at midnight (the first second campaigning is permitted) and plaster the place with as many pieces of paper as the rules will allow. There’s an art to postering with speed, efficiency, and enough tape to ensure your posters last the morning. I should know: two years in the Mathematical Society as an exec and two years of elections taught me the exact optimal size of tape loops, the value of high-quality masking tape, and the importance of a midnight plan.

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It’s all about the midnight plan.

For the next few weeks, your candidates give up school, sleep, and a social life to practically live on campus trying to get you to vote. The experience is somewhat surreal in the first couple of days because you can’t quite believe that the campaign is finally happening or that you’re finally a candidate. So, so, so much planning goes into it. Give them a chance. Find the issues you believe in. Who knows, maybe you’ll get caught up in the chaos of it all?

2014 Reflection: Part 2

May started with moving to a new apartment: a gorgeous two bedroom that was a significant step up from student housing. I took back-to-back sublets that ended up working out really well: amazing roommates! Popcorn Plays moved into the rehearsal process and took up more of my time. I started my penultimate term of classes: a mix of databases, computer-based statistics, international business policy, 17th century french literature, and marketing communications. (more…)

2014 Reflection Part 1

For me, 2014 was a busy year. From student union elections, getting back into theatre, finishing up my last few undergraduate terms, starting a new job, and officially moving to Kitchener, I spent a lot of time doing things I love. Here’s hoping that 2015 is as productive and fun! I’ve split my 2014 reflection into three parts: January-April, May-August, and September-December. You’re reading the January-April part.  (more…)