With election season underway for the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS), things are heating up as promising newcomer Shaylene Pratt has already hit her first political roadblock: being locked in the boiler room of the Maggie Benston Building by current SFSS president, Steven Roberts.
“Honestly, I was expecting something like this to happen,” Pratt told The Peak, through the locked door of the basement boiler room where she’s been trapped since last Wednesday. “Friends of mine warned me that student politics could be a petty and mean-spirited arena, so I’m not too surprised.”
Pratt claims she was lured into the basement by Roberts via an e-vite for a super-secret mock debate meant to give candidates an opportunity to practice before the actual debate next week. Since being locked in the boiler room, Pratt has begun to doubt the mock debate’s legitimacy.
“Looking back on it, a basement doesn’t seem like the likeliest of places to hold a mock candidates’ debate,” admits Pratt. “You win this round, Steven!”
Roberts’ political opponents are calling the move cheap and uncalled for, but Roberts’ supporters claim that Pratt knew what she was getting into when she collected the 12 signatures necessary for a student to run in the SFSS elections. Roberts has also shot back at critics, saying that anyone who thinks they’re qualified enough to represent their university’s student population on the SFSS board should at least be able to escape a dark, perpetually-humid boiler room.
“She’s going to play the victim here, but I think people need to stay focused on what’s important,” Roberts posted on his electoral Facebook page, which currently has 82 likes. “Our school needs leaders who will advocate for students and not just disappear for days at a time without any explanation. SFU students deserve better.”
Pratt admits that the recent setback has caused her campaign to lose serious momentum, citing lack of food and increasing symptoms of dehydration as reasons behind her current slump in the polls. As well, she’s feeling more pressure than ever to concede to Roberts — if only so she is allowed to leave the increasingly warm boiler room.
Pratt explains: “The students have SFU have a right to a more transparent governing body and . . . wait, do you hear that? Is someone out there? Please, help me!
“I guess that was just the pipes or something making a noise.”
In an effort to remain as objective as possible, The Peak refused to assist Pratt in her escape, concluding that such an action might be interpreted as partisan support for Pratt as a presidential candidate.
Thankfully, Pratt was able to tape 1,200 posters around campus before her political rival locked her in the basement, so she remains hopeful that students will remember her platform when they head to the polls between March 24 and 26.