Pair of students joins race for executive team in eleventh hour
With less than 27 hours remaining until campaigning ends, a second executive team has joined the race for student senate, challenging David Kuenzi and Alicia Smit, who were previously unopposed in the race.
Osita Mefor and Aaron Ling will be running for president and vice president against Kuenzi and Smit, who started campaigning last Wednesday night for executive team and were shoo-in candidates until this recent development.
The current student senate asked Kuenzi and Smit whether they would allow the team to enter the race at the last minute, and they approved.
“I’m really grateful for that,” Mefor said. “There are people who were saying it’s too late for them to come in, but they were really nice about it, so a big thank you to them.”
Mefor is a junior business operations major and information systems minor from Nigeria, and Ling is a sophomore nursing major from Toronto. Neither Mefor nor Ling have been elected to student senate before.
Okafur decided that he wanted to run for executive team after reading in Chimes that Kuenzi and Smit were running without contenders.
“I thought [the race] would be more interesting,” said Mefor. “I got out of class and I picked up the Chimes and saw the exec team running unopposed. Something has to be done about this.”
Mefor started his search for a running mate and was able to find a friend who was willing to join the race with him.
“I spent all weekend trying to get someone to run with me, but nobody actually wanted to step up, so I gave up,” Mefor said. “But then yesterday evening at dinner, someone said he was going for senate as well. I knew him, but we just made the decision last night.”
Mefor and Ling’s last-minute decision to run meant that they had to scurry to obtain 500 signatures.
“We just ran around,” Mefor said. “We went to the library floors going up and down today.”
Because the other executive team has already been campaigning for six days, Mefor said that the campaign feels somewhat intimidating.
“It seems daunting, stressful as well,” he said. “But I believe with the right drive, we should be able to get something done, even if it’s just for a couple hours.”
As for what Mefor and Ling plan to do if they are elected, some of their priorities include providing more funding for student organizations and opening buildings on off-days.
“One thing is balancing budgets for student organizations,” Mefor said. “Some of the organizations don’t have enough to do what they need to do. Also, buildings should be open during holidays like Good Friday for students to actually study, if students need to study.”
In addition to keeping buildings open on some holidays, Mefor would also attempt to keep the dorms open for some of the longer holiday breaks.
“The dorms are open during Thanksgiving, which is four nights, and spring break is just a couple of more nights,” he said.
Mefor also wants to enhance the quality of food available at the dining halls.
“I would like to fight to improve dining hall foods as well as Johnny’s food by creating more variety,” said Mefor. “You have the basic burgers and chicken baskets and it gets boring. Why not have specialty dinners maybe once or twice a week?”
Because time is so scarce before election day, Mefor hopes to spread the message about his campaign mainly by talking with people.
“From my point of view, it’s better to do word-of-mouth, meet-and-greet,” he said.
Campaigning ends Wednesday at midnight and voting opens Thursday at noon.