Presidential endorsement: Michael Onabolu
With strong research, a feasible platform and an approachable demeanor, Michael Onabolu has emerged the most suitable choice for next year’s Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union president and CEO.
Onabolu has tangible targets in his platform and doesn’t over emphasize his experience with WLUSU and other campus activities – acting rather humble and authentic instead.
While not explicit about it, with Onabolu’s one-year term on the board, his experience as a breaker as well as being a founding member of the ACCESS charity, Onabolu certainly has the necessary credentials for the position.
The pillars of his platform were focused and he rarely responded vaguely when confronted about an issue. In particular, Onabolu’s emphasis on student mental health demonstrates his ability to bring uncomfortable issues to light and find innovative ways to tackle them.
Furthermore, his thorough knowledge about WLUSU’s ends and operations demonstrate that he is extremely qualified for the job.
From the beginning of the election, two presidential candidates seemed to divide the students at WLU: Onabolu and Solda.
Though Solda has put forth a strong campaign and has a noticeable presence on campus, she falls short in terms of her platform. By being a two-time director and head-ice breaker, Solda is no stranger to WLUSU; but her platform lacks the ideas to ensure concrete change is attainable over the course of a one-year position. In debates and discussion, she tackled difficult topics affecting students such as the potential of altering orientation week to accommodate a fall reading break.
However, Solda failed to take a strong stance on the issue, which may have risked her popularity, but overall would have exhibited the strength to make an informed decision as a leader.
Nolan Kreis deserves credit just for the fact he decided to run for president as a Brantford student. While he wasn’t excessively pushy about WLUSU’s representation in Brantford, he did bring light to an on going and contentious topic. Kreis also made an attempt, by attending numerous WLUSU board meetings, to understand the operations at the Waterloo campus.
However, as even he acknowledged, the fact that Kreis is from the Brantford campus did hurt him on Waterloo-based issues, for example, lack of study space.
As a student from Brantford, Kreis was only able to give the perspective of that campus, losing the connection with the Waterloo voters which make up the vast majority of the electorate.
In running for president, Kreis may help bring an end to a sense of divide between the two campuses and has opened up the potential for future Brantford candidates and elected representatives.
Onabolu, with his “Help Me Help You” campaign, wasn’t excessive in its gimmicks or presence on campus – inviting students to get involved rather than pushing promises into their faces.
At the Waterloo open forum, Onabolu – ending off with an incredibly catchy and rhyming closing statement – performed exceptionally. Though he had many sentimental statements, Onabolu never came off as artificial.
Confident, hopeful and optimistic, Onabolu, in both his platform and his public appearances, is the strongest candidate for WLUSU president. The job, contrary to popular belief, isn’t the most glamorous and can be unpredictable.
But, from what he has exhibited throughout his campaign, Onabolu, if he is to be elected, should have a successful 2012-13 year.
The unsigned endorsements are based on a discussion following the WLUSU election campaign. It was agreed upon by the majority (13 in favour, one abstention) of The Cord’s editorial board. The arguments made may reference any facts that have been made available through interviews, documents or other sources. The views presented do not necessarily reflect those of The Cord’s volunteers, staff or WLUSP.