Student in Thames race
By Dan Perry and Marshall Bellamy
"That's the way we've always done things," said Dave Forestell,
a Thames Valley District School Board trustee candidate for
Wards 1 and 7 and a first-year Western law student. "I think
it's time for new ideas," he said.
So why Forestell? What sets him apart from the other candidates? "My
age," he laughed. "The oldest person running is 88; I'm 23.
I'm not on the board right now - when the whole board's running
for re-election, you don't have any new voices being heard."
Forestell said as a recent graduate of the public education
system, he experienced problems facing the school system. "It's
time to take the politics out of the classroom and allow students
to learn in a conflict-free environment," he added.
Forestell said there should be more accountability and transparency
in the School Board and that all trustees should publish monthly
trustee updates as only the volunteer non-voting student representative
currently submits monthly reports.
"I'm seeking a mandate as well - I'm trying to make sure voters
are educated on their positions," Forestell explained, citing
people have a tendency to vote according to what they have
done in the past.
Forestell said his two years of experience as president of
the Ontario Progressive Conservative Youth Organization has
given him organizational skills.
"I bring a voice that doesn't exist to the school board for
Western students, who make up around 10 per cent of London's
population and aren't consulted except during the brief election
period," Forestell stated.
Forestell said he hopes the political awareness the SmartVote
campaign brought to campus during the provincial election will
continue, considering that in the last election, only 150 of
Ward 1's 10,000 eligible voters came out to the polling stations. "I
just hope people take the opportunity to vote," he said.
The municipal and trustee vote takes place on Nov. 10.