Due to severity of health concerns, candidate steps down
On Monday evening, Dave Patterson made the decision to pull out of the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union presidential election. Due to the severity of a concussion and neck injury he sustained playing intramurals early in the campaign, Patterson felt he needed to step down in order to put his health first.
“I started to notice that my injuries, especially the concussion, were getting worse before they were getting better,” he said. “Combine that with everything else I’m trying to do in my life right now, I realized I wasn’t in a position to campaign the way I wanted to or do the job the way I would have liked to.”
Patterson began thinking about withdrawing himself as a candidate on Friday when the pain had not subsided after almost a week. He went home to see a doctor and discussed his options with his family and close friends.
The doctor said by participating in the presidential debate, he pushed his recovery back by almost a month.
As of Sunday morning, Patterson was still determined to finish the campaign period, but Sunday afternoon he “finally came to his senses” and realized he should put his health at the forefront.
He originally wanted to make the announcement Monday at the Waterloo open forum, but due to the closure of the university and the cancellation of the event, was forced to wait. He decided to make a post on his Facebook so he could announce his withdrawal on his own terms, he explained.
According to him, the hardest part was telling his team.
“From my perspective, personally, I wish I could have done more,” Patterson said of his campaign period. “[It] was frustrating for me knowing I couldn’t give it everything I could. But I think overall, we did well. We ran a campaign that was true to us, true to my values and the way I hoped to run it.”
Patterson said one of his main goals was to still be able to “recognize the person in the mirror” at the end of the campaign period. He said that’s something he’s been able to do throughout the campaign.
Now that Patterson has stepped down, the Students’ Union presidential ballot will only have two names: Frank Cirinna and Olivia Matthews.
This means the winner will need 51 per cent of the vote to be declared president and the voting will only take one round.
Patterson thanked his team and wished the best of luck to Cirinna and Matthews in the last days of the campaign.
“Every year, I’ve sat and watched people run and you can’t quite explain the experience it is until experiencing it yourself,” he said. “But at the end of the day it was a great experience and it’s an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I wish them both the best of luck.”