Parks is Western's Valentine
By Jason Ménard
As the bell tolled signifying the advent of Valentine's Day, eight candidates were left broken-hearted, but one stood tall as the Western student body embraced Ryan Parks with his election as University Students' Council president-elect.
"I'm ecstatic, overwhelmed," Parks said as the final numbers were revealed yesterday at The Spoke. "All day I would spend five minutes thinking, 'What if I won?' and follow that with five minutes thinking 'What if I lost?'
"It was driving me crazy."
Parks was crowned USC president last night after receiving 1,345 of the 4,986 votes cast during the two-day election period. His total outdistanced the second-place finisher, Brian Astl, by 506 votes.
"I'd like to think [the voters] looked at the issues and looked at the platforms when they made this decision," Parks said.
However, Parks said he is not one to rest on his laurels. While he was savouring last night's victory, he was already planning to get a head start on his term.
"Well, first I've got some classes that I have to go to tomorrow morning," he said. "But depending on how [current USC president] Dave Tompkins feels maybe we'll sit down tomorrow over a beer and have an informal talk."
Parks said he plans to go ahead with his campaign promise of re-structuring the USC's Board of Directors so that the vice-presidential portfolio's can be set by the council's summer annual general meeting. As well, he said he will be gauging the political climate to fulfil his promise of running a student candidate in the expected federal election.
Although basking in his moment of glory, Parks said he had nothing but praise for the USC's elections committee and his fellow candidates.
"It was fabulous. [Chief returning officer] James Deans and [deputy returning officer] Tim [Morris] ran a tight ship," he said. "I was also honoured to run in such a strong field the candidates were high calibre."
Parks added he was planning to set up a meeting with the other candidates to talk about incorporating various campaign ideas into his tenure.