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Elections 2019

Di Raddo: There was a clear winner in the president forum

Katrina Di Raddo gives her opinion.

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Katrina Di Raddo | Opinion


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual, including The Avro Post. Our Opinion Policy.


In student elections, you are elected for a one-year term.

That means you have one year to impress me should you seek re-election. At the same time, I’m always looking to hear new ideas – ideas that are innovative yet realistic. With both of those things being said, Margarita Bader was the clear winner in the IGNITE presidential discussion.

I was already disappointed with Monica Khosla’s performance as president this past year. Her only big statement came under the pressure of Doug Ford’s OSAP changes.

Why weren’t these bold statements made more often throughout the year? That is the kind of strong leadership I expect from my student union.

And for a person that claimed to champion communication, locking out student press is unacceptable and a surefire way to avoid accountability. If you are afraid of answering the tough questions, you cannot lead in this day and age.

I was hoping to have Monica change my mind changed about her during the discussion. Unfortunately it wasn’t.

I felt Monica’s ideas were stale and vague. Many were just reiterated concepts from Margarita. I don’t want a leader who says “yes I agree, I’d do that too.”

I want a leader who says “that’s a great idea, but this is what I would do to make it even better.”

Her answers lacked depth, with prose like IGNITE is already doing “a lot of great things.” Things? What kind of things? Expand. You’re the president. Saying you’re doing “things” is a Trumpism. Going further on that, when asked about last year’s platform items, she could only remember two out of her three items. That’s a red flag if I’ve ever seen one. How do you not remember a platform item? Makes the voters think you didn’t really work very hard on it then.

Margarita, on the other hand, was a breath of fresh air during the discussion. She came off as intelligent and confident. I enjoyed her fresh ideas and felt her experience on the Board of Directors gives her beneficial insight into the operation of the student union. I loved the idea of expanding spaces for students on campus by utilizing current facilities.

Where I work, we have the majority of our rooms in an online booking system, and they can be booked any time they are not in use. This seems like a practical way to fully utilize classrooms and other spaces on campus, which Margarita discussed. I also thought the idea of offering additional workshops on a variety of topics is excellent, including Photoshop and first aid.

In a heavily technological era, there are also many softwares that students lack knowledge of. In classes, I have learned the names and theories of many business softwares, but never a chance to actually use them in a computer lab. That is NO help for me when I am applying to jobs. Workshops could bridge this gap.

This is especially important because, as was discussed by both candidates, aligning graduate students with jobs is imperative. If you want companies of any field to come to campus and recruit, you have to give them a reason. I know many companies who will only recruit from schools such as Waterloo, Western, or Schulich because the students are “perceived” as better quality. That external perception needs to change if the student union and school in general want any traction on fulfilling this goal.

IGNITE, and the rest of Ontario’s student unions, are in for a ride in the upcoming years. Think long, close, and hard about who will be representing you. My endorsement for IGNITE president goes to Margarita Bader.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual, including The Avro Post. Our Opinion Policy.

Image of IGNITE from previous files.

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