Humber College students have the opportunity to make their voices heard by voting this week in the Ignite elections.
“It’s always important to vote regardless of which election is,” Saffiya Luit, a member of the Board of Directors of Humber’s student government Ignite said in an emailed response to a Skedline request for an interview. “It’s always important to vote regardless of which election it is!”
This election will determine who will serve as Ignite’s executive next year. “For this election, it will determine how next year will go for the students so based on their priorities they should vote for the candidate whose priorities align with their own,” Lulat said.
Lulat said in an email one issue she thinks is an important issue for students is financial aid.
“If there is a lack of financial stability then everything else becomes difficult and it will reflect negatively on both the students and the University of Guelph-Humber/ Humber College,” Luit said in the email. Premier Doug Ford announced last month that students will be able to opt out of student union fees like those for Ignite. Lulat disagrees with the move but thinks Humber students understand the benefits of Ignite.
She said in an email, “As a student and current [Board member] I see the benefits of Ignite and I know the students are intelligent enough to see it too. Therefore, I’m not worried about students choosing to opt out because they’re smart enough not to.”
Ignite’s special projects coordinator Vanessa Silaphetsaid via email said candidates are reaching out to student voters using “various methods and in whatever means the candidate wishes to interact and engage with the student body – social media, in person, handouts, posters.”
Silaphet said about 8,500 students voted in last year’s election — a 25.7 % turnout rate.
Another member of Ignite’s Board of Directors, Nisha Haroon, said candidates are using different ways to reach out to students during the campaign.
“Candidates are expected to be accessible as much as possible,” Haroon said in an email.
One of the responsibilities each candidate has is to abide by the IGNITE elections appeal policy which can be found on the IGNITE website. The appeals policy state that there is a three strike protocol for members that break the rules or regulations. However, they have the choice of filing for an appeal.
Silaphet said in an email that each candidate has the responsibility to be open and authentic as possible as it is important to be real and transparent. “Candidates is responsible for ensuring they abide by the IGNITE Elections and Appeals policy.”
Students had the opportunity to meet their candidate face to face at a Mix and Mingle event that IGNITE held on Feb 12-14. Lutat said in her email that “IGNITE held an open Mix & Mingle event so students can meet candidates in a comfortable atmosphere. In addition, candidates can be met while canvassing/campaigning, through social media, and through email.” Skedline reporter Justin Field covered the Mix and Mingle.
Candidates for president are Margarita Bader and Monica Khosla.
Bader studies digital communications and her platform includes financial security, helping to develop skills that students don’t learn in the classroom, and improving students academic experience.
Khosla platform includes making student lives on campus more comfortable & enjoyable, improving students’ health & wellness and improving students’ academic experience.
Candidates for vice president at Humber Lakeshore are Ostap Pavliuk and Ryan Stafford.
Pavliuk is in the Business Administration program and advocates for making student lives on campus more comfortable and enjoyable, helping to develop skills students don’t learn in the classroom and improving students’ health and wellness.
Stafford is also a Business Administration student and advocates for delivering experiences that can enrich students’ lives, improving students’ health and wellness and help improving student financial security.
Board of Director candidates includes Asiya Awan, a paralegal student, Camila Ruiz Tacha and Stephanie Fallico.
Candidates are currently campaigning and the winners will be announced March 1stat 5 p.m. Voting is going on all week from Monday, Feb. 25 to Friday, – March 1, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the L or AB building on Humber Lakeshore campus.