First rez, next the world!

By Emily Senger

Three rez kids will lead the Students’ Union next year, though they promise not to do it wearing pajama pants and flip-flops.

Three of the five executive elected in the SU general election are members of the Residence Students’ Association, including president-elect Julie Bogle, who edged out her nearest competitor by a mere 20 votes. Results were announced in the Den Thur., Feb. 15.

“I’m really glad,” said Bogle, who won the race with 38 per cent of the vote. “It was a tight race and we’re all qualified candidates, but students showed they wanted an internally-focused candidate. I’m stoked to be representing students next year.”

Bogle–who is currently an SU events commissioner and the RSA vice-president apartments–ran on a platform of representing students, grassroots mobilization and re-examining current SU policies and procedures.

Runner-up presidential candidate Wilma Shim, who came in 20 votes shy of Bogle, was not available for comment.

Current VP external Julie Labonte came third in the presidential race with 24 per cent of votes. She suggested the residence vote was the deciding factor in the election. In addition to Bogle, both VP operations and finance winner Fraser Stuart and VP external winner Mike Selnes are on the RSA.

“Of course I’m sad, but it’s going to be an awesome executive this year, they all know each other–right off the bat they’ll be able to work together,” commented Labonte. “It goes to show, rez is a strong vote.”

The VP operations and finance was an even tighter race than president, with Fraser Stuart edging out Kyle Olsen by just 16 votes.

Stuart said the close race encourages him to work hard next year.

“I feel like I’ve got to prove myself,” said Stuart, who is a current academic commissioner. He received 1,235 votes.

“I want to represent everybody, even if their interests don’t coincide with mine,” he said.

Olsen, a current op-fi commissioner, said he was content with the results, even though he did not come out on top.

“All the other races were really close,” noted Olsen. “It was the difference of visiting one class.”

Fellow rez kid and current SU external commissioner and RSA external manager Mike Selnes garnered 55 per cent of the vote to come out on top of Teale Phelps Bondaroff in the VP external race.

“[I feel] utter shock,” said Selnes of his victory. “I didn’t know how to feel coming into this, but you never really know how to feel–Teale was a hell of a competitor.”

As for Phelps Bondaroff, he wished Selnes well and hinted at plans to take his politics outside of the university and run as a candidate for the NDP in the next federal election.

In the VP academic race, current academic commissioner Brittany Sargent edged out fine arts faculty rep Teri Cameron by 173 votes.

Cameron said she was satisfied with the outcome of the race and will be happy to put the stressful campaign trail behind her.

“It was a close race for all of the execs,” said Cameron. “Brit’s going to do a great job and I survived the Gauntlet panel.”

Sargent said she was excited to kick-off her term with a focus on teaching quality.

“[My priority will be] the Teaching and Learning Centre,” said Sargent. “I’m going to work really hard and learn that passion so it doesn’t get left behind.”

The only race won by a large margin was current SU president Emily Wyatt, who won the board of governors representative spot with 79 per cent of the vote. Her competitor, first-year engineering student Jeremy Zhao, ran on the platform of having no platform and included “over 19 years of being a Chinese” in his list of qualifications.

“I’m glad students voted responsibly,” said Wyatt of her victory.

SU chief returning officer Mike Brown noted that the election went smoothly despite concerns that Peoplesoft–the university’s new software system–could crash during voting.

The only issue was with CanVote, the external voting service the SU uses. Brown noted that the CanVote server was bogged down by a high number of voters in the last half hour of voting.

“The ballot itself slowed down, but everyone was able to vote,” said Brown.

Brown said 17.7 per cent of students voted in this election, which is up from last year’s 16.7 per cent.

“[Voter turnout] was slightly higher because a lot of the candidates were already in the SU,” noted Brown. “They were higher-profile.”

Current VP events Eric Jablonski will return for a second term as VP events. He was acclaimed.

The new executive will be sworn in April 26.

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