The USC's 2017 nomination period is finally over with the third and last presidential slate — Team Jan/Mohammad — announcing its candidacy.
Anooshae Janmohammad, presidential candidate, is a fourth-year Huron College student, double majoring in business and psychology, and Mohammad Hussain, vice-presidential candidate, is a fourth-year main campus student majoring in French studies.
The duo met in first year when both were Huron students and since then their friendship and collaboration has grown. A vital moment in their working relationship was when Hussain was Janmohammad's campaign manager during her run for vice-president student events at Huron.
“We worked really well together. I found that he understood my strengths and weaknesses and supported me," Janmohammad said. "I found that we were compatible.”
The friends decided to run for the top USC job this year due to their desire for change from the status quo.
"I found that year after year it was almost the same people running," Janmohammad said. "I know that I don’t have the USC background, but I have the passion and I have the ideas that I want to implement and they may be unique ideas.”
The slate acknowledged that many people across campus may not know who they are as they are outsider candidates, but the slate will work hard throughout the campaign period to introduce themselves to students.
When initially considering running, Hussain questioned if the duo would garner enough support. He wondered, "Who will vote for us? We’re two Muslim brown students.”
In the end, Hussain and Janmohammad chose to run believing they are qualified for the positions. Hussain cited his desire to help students as a driving force behind his decision to run. He is confident the duo can learn the bylaws and policies when in the role and that his passionate personality will aid him.
As a slate who has had little involvement with the USC before, Janmohammad noted that they want to get students who aren't necessarily involved with the USC to come out and vote.
Hussain believes students in the past have felt their needs haven't been addressed and that may be a reason for low voter turnout at USC elections.
”Every student matters. It’s a student body election," Hussain said. "If we’re not addressing every single person's issue or at least trying then how are we going to hold ourselves accountable?”
In discussing issues they plan to address, Hussain cited displeasure with the USC executives for not collaborating with students on important decisions in the past. He pointed out the USC's mandatory Wave and Spoke catering policy for USC affiliated organizations. If elected, the slate wants to collaborate with students on decisions and involve them more in consultations.
In discussing their overall vision for the USC next year, Hussain cited mental health as a key area of focus. For example, the slate would aid students with mental health issues and ensure they receive proper academic accommodation.
If elected, Janmohammad, a long-time London resident, wants to promote students to "break the Western bubble." She noted the city has a lot more to offer than students often get to see.
Campaigning for the 2017 USC election begins on Monday, Jan. 16.