Volume 95, Issue 27
Friday, October 19, 2001
The Belton tolls for Board of Govenors
Biz student bests closest rival by 152 votes
By Erin Conway-Smith
Since his first year at Western, Scott Belton has had his eye on a Board of Governors' position and last night, victory was his for the taking.
Following two days of voting, the final tally put Belton ahead at the finish line with 515 votes. Dave Brebner finished second with a total of 363 votes.
Soon after results were announced to a packed Wave, Belton, a first-year honours business administration student, said he was feeling nervous, excited and glad the campaign had drawn to a close.
"I'm looking forward to getting down to business," he said.
The commitment he talked about in his campaign will continue for the duration of his time on BOG, Belton said.
"I think now is when the work really starts it's time to start doing all the stuff I said I was going to do," he added.
Belton said he was also looking forward to building relationships with other BOG representatives and speaking with departing undergraduate member Joel Adams and current member Melissa Parker.
"I don't want to go into this unprepared," he said. "Maybe being a naive rookie is going to help me out."
University Students' Council chief returning officer Jordan Glick said he thought the campaign went extremely well.
This year's voter turnout was 1718, down from last year's three-year high of 2146. Glick attributed the decline in votes to less candidates three instead of last year's seven though he noted this year's voter turnout was higher than two of the three previous years.
This year's election was clean and had few fines, Glick added.
"There were [no fines] the campaign committee thought were deliberate," he said, adding eight of nine fines from Senate and BOG involved signs being left up.
USC president Mike Lawless offered his congratulations to all candidates and said it is fantastic to have Belton representing all students on BOG.
"I think he did a great job [in his campaign]. [He] worked really hard and a lot of that showed today," he said.
Departing BOG representative Joel Adams said he thought Belton did a fantastic job in his campaign.
"He took the time to campaign heavily, he sat down with myself and other people on the board so he knows what he got himself into," he said.
Adams said he thought Belton's experience working with a diverse number of students on campus will come in handy on BOG.
"The big thing is bringing the student perspective to the table not necessarily the student politician perspective," he said, adding he thinks Belton can accomplish this in a way that is both personable and sincere.
Over the last few years, Adams said he has seen a positive change in the relationship between student members on BOG and administration representatives.
"I think the [mission] yet to come, in terms of what student [representatives] can accomplish here at Western, is keeping [the student body] interested and informed on the issues they deal with on a day-to-day basis," he said, adding it is ultimately up to students to make sure they are raising their voices and making their interests known.
Copyright © The Gazette 2001