Before I say anything I want to say thank you to Andrew and to the members of the 2011/12 USC Executive. I have learned a lot from the strength you showed as a team and from the example that you have set this year. I can honestly say that I believe in your collective passion for Western and that you have always done the best that you could for Western students.
As I thought about all of the things that I could say today I realized that amidst all of the politics and plans for the future there was one simple message, one so clearly me and one so obviously personal that I couldn’t help but share it with you. It’s a message that has almost nothing, but then again, almost everything to do with the USC. It’s a thought, that gave me the courage to run for election, to learn from people that I thought I had nothing to learn from and to discover what was holding me back from being the person that I wanted to be. I’m not going to say that it all came down to this one thought, but ultimately it allowed me to discover a lot of things that I would otherwise never have discovered about myself, the USC, Western and the people around me. And here it is, my secret, I’m going to share it with you.
Don’t be afraid to fall in love.
Okay, fair. Some of you are looking at me like I’ve completely lost it, but a few of you might actually be able to guess where I’m going to go with this. I guess, in a roundabout way, what I am trying to say is that I am counting on everyone in this room to be open to feeling something new next year. Whether that’s falling in love with a cause, an idea, a belief or yes, maybe a person who changes your life, I want you to be able to bring that openness to the USC and to everything that we do together. Next year will not be about tearing each other down, it will be about working together to make the kind of change that we want to see in the Western community. It’s about realizing that the USC does not exist just to fight amongst ourselves. It’s about understanding that our ultimate goal is to have our opinions heard beyond the three walls and a window of Council chambers. We need to realize that we are a student government with the ability to speak directly to the decision makers at this University. We can show them that we can rise above our internal debates to present a strong advocacy voice for Western students. We will be respectful, we will be caring and we will be informed but we will not be afraid of standing up for what Western students need. Next year we will be a team, one capable of picking the right battles, fighting them together and making sure that we do our best to get results for the students.
So, today, as you listen to the candidates for Vice-President, think about who will give us the best chance to succeed as a team. Let’s give ourselves the very best chance to make the change we want to see at Western.
I am more than excited for next year and know that this room full of people is here for a reason. You are going to be the ones who make the difference at Western. Believe that you can do it, be open to something new and maybe, just maybe, you’ll fall in love with what we do at the USC.