The Cord’s 2020-2021 Students’ Union election endorsements
The following endorsements were made through a discussion with The Cord’s Editorial Board and Editor-in-Chief (8 members). These are not necessarily a reflection of WLUSP, The Cord’s volunteers or staff members.
After careful consideration, The Cord has chosen to endorse Pegah Jamalof as the 2021-22 Students’ Union President and CEO.
Both candidates in the race for president had valuable assets and plans that they would bring to the role. Jamalof and Small have both put in significant effort to advocate for the student body through their time as students. The Cord commends both candidates for the work they’ve put in over the campaign period, however, Jamalof was the candidate who ultimately stood out against her fellow candidate.
With that said, The Cord’s Editorial Board felt it was important to identify the pros and cons of each prospective candidate. This allowed for us to eliminate the candidate who we felt didn’t make the best use of their platform and/or the campaign process at large, while still remaining critical of the candidate who we chose to endorse.
Jamalof, throughout the two-week campaign period, put in significant effort to reach the student body. Jamalof has a highly-successful campaign page on Instagram, as well as a functional website and easily-accessible platform. She has successfully utilized her available channels to reach out to students — this effort has not gone unnoticed by The Cord.
While The Cord has taken the time to be critical of Jamalof’s platform as a whole, as well as her fellow candidate’s platform, we appreciate the effort behind Jamalof’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) virtual 5km fundraiser for mental health awareness. That said, one specific aspect of Jamalof’s platform that we believed to be quite strong was her mental health advocacy.
Her openness and transparency in her online campaign, as well as in the open forums around mental health, leads The Cord to believe she will put in significant effort to advocate for students’ mental health and wellness. In spite of that, the clarity and soundness of her platform is also something that The Cord took into consideration.
While we believe Jamalof’s campaign effort to be more significant than her fellow candidate, we recognize that some of her ideas are vague or lack substance. Where Jamalof did take liberties in her platform points, such as with her idea to incentivize STI testing on campus, her platform lacked substantial evidence to back up her points, as well as an unclear explanation of the feasibility behind this. Regardless, much like her fellow candidate, Jamalof has been transparent and honest with her answers in
While evaluating both
The Cord encourages Jamalof to be purposeful in planning and accommodating for the potential issues and results of another year of remote, virtual learning as much as she can before being entered into the role.
While Jamalof has proven herself to be the strongest candidate for a number of reasons, her ideas and action plans are something The Cord suggests for her to improve upon. While she has shown a strong campaign presence and has an obvious passion to lead students, she is encouraged to narrow down her presidential goals for the coming school year, and expand and improve upon her ideas where applicable. We hope to see her stay accountable to the ideas she has suggested, and to continue to improve upon her ideas where needed.
As the current vice-chair of the board of directors, The Cord endorses Dang as chair in the coming year. As a member of the board for the last two years, Dang has demonstrated his passion and commitment to the role. He has been present and highly engaged in the election season this year and has answered all the questions at Open Forum with confidence and self-assuredness.
Dang also demonstrated his willingness to encourage and aid his fellow board candidates through the election period, by answering questions during Open Forum in order to help newer candidates understand the functions of the board—a trait that will prove to be useful for the role of the chair.
Dang has always proven himself to be engaged at board meetings, and undoubtedly holds a lot of internal knowledge about the board throughout his two years’ experience. He asks questions during board meetings and, as such, will do a good job of holding the new president accountable.
Overall, Dang’s commitment and experience makes him a stand-out candidate for the position of the chair of the board.
The candidate who The Cord has chosen to endorse for the Vice-Chair position is Ezra Ceniti, a current director on the board.
Ceniti has shown up to many of the Open Forums and election events, proving his commitment to his role on the board of directors, and thus, has shown himself to be capable of fulfilling the duties of Vice-Chair.
Having expressed interest in the chair position last year during his campaign, and the Vice-Chair position this year, Ceniti stands out as a well-researched and prepared candidate.
Ceniti has set realistic goals through his platform and has shown keen interest in improving upon his current position in the coming year. He is one of the more active participants in board meetings and is an honest and straightforward member of the board.
His general composure during open forums and board meetings has led The Cord to believe that Ceniti will do a sufficient job in advocating for students and holding the Chair accountable in the coming year.