Post-campaign glee

Dear Editor,

I am glad that our student newspaper covered the elections in last week’s edition. However, it is important for us to reflect on the immense student turnout for the spring 2010 elections. This is symbolic of the excitement and enthusiasm that plagued our campaign from day one. Over 30% of all eligible voters cast their ballot in this year’s election, a turnout unprecedented in UTM Student unions history, and in fact the highest turnout of any election, not only in the GTA, but in the province of Ontario. I would like to thank not only the students that cast their ballot in this historic election, but also all the candidates.
This election would have not culminated the amount of interest, participation and commentary if we did not have all these diverse and committed  candidates running for the executive and board of directors positions. I believe that students deserve a discussion on the issues.Team Students United is committed to such a conversation. We all believe that as university students and future community and professional leaders, we have the responsibility to strive away from the distractions and focus on the solutions.
So what does this election mean to us? It means that students care about their student union and most importantly about the issues that each one of you have brought to the center of the campaign.
Students are looking at the platform and basically saying, “This is what I want my student union to do.” But that should only be the first step. I ran with a team that is called Students United. There is a cheer that is used by students and labor, that goes, “The students/workers united, will never be defeated.” And that speaks to what we believe in. We believe that when students unite, we can get anything we want. Imagine 3,000 students telling Food Services that Chartwells needs to deliver on more food services, or
they should lose their monopoly.
Imagine 3,000 students going
to Erindale College Council
and demanding lower parking/residence/meal plan fees.  And why should we be limited by the platform we ran on? And why should we limit ourselves to 3,000 voices?
To vote is an avenue for students to indicate their interest on the issues they care about. But voting is not the end, but the beginning of the process; it is very important for every student to participate in their student union.
What I’m trying to say is that there is strength in numbers. United, we can get stuff done. And how do we decide what needs to be done? Together. We want to make sure that students are consulted on everything the union does. In fact, we want the union to do what you, the students tell us to do. Because a students union is nothing without the students.
The students union is here to serve you. Our team garnered the most votes because of your support (and there was clearly a lot of support). But we can`t do this alone. Join us in the next 12 months, and united we can tackle the issues that affect us all.
In student solidarity,
Vickita Bhatt
PS – In last week’s issue of The Medium, there was no mention of the breakdown of the votes, so I thought I would include it here.
Vickita Bhatt 1638 (elected)
Henry S­­­sali 1142
VP Internal
Marc Bressler  814
Gilbert Cassar  1707 (elected )
Sunil Shah  256
VP UA and Academics
Nabeel Jafri  999
Grace Yuen 1776 (elected )
VP External
Stefanie Marotta  1010
Munib Sajjad  1759 (elected)
VP Equity
Kumari Giles  1838 (elected)
Amreet Kaur  923
VP Part Time
Ali Karim  17
Marium Chowdhary 29  (elected)

In Solidarity,
Vickita Bhatt

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