SU ’10/11 executive elected

The Students’ Union announced next year’s executive council with current SU external commissioner Lauren Webber elected to serve as 2010-11 president, having won 53 per cent of the vote.

The 21-year-old Webber, daughter of the MLA for Calgary-Foothills, lost her mother to breast cancer just a day before the election results, but despite her loss, she was still in good spirits.

“I feel unbelievable,” said Webber, “I’ve been having a really tough time the past few days, I lost my mom yesterday and so I won it for her and it feels so, so good.”

Webber defeated both Christian Louden and Joey Brocke, current SU VP operations and finance, to become the University of Calgary’s fifth consecutive female SU president.

“It was a hard race and I’m exhausted,” said Louden. “I was running against, basically, two unbeatable candidates. It didn’t matter which way the race went, we had two very strong candidates. I’m so happy for Lauren.”

Brocke said that with the loss, he looks forward to getting back to life as usual after his term in office is over in May.

“It’s good news for the SU, for me obviously, not so good news,” said Brocke. “I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to run in the election in the first place, so I get to go off to another good option and go back to my studies.”

Webber attributes her success in the race to her team of volunteers who she says stepped up to the plate when her mother’s condition worsened to canvass MacHall and the University LRT station with signs, t-shirts and handouts.

“The percentages, I’m floored,” said Webber. “It was such a surprise to me, I really thought it would be a lot closer, both candidates are unbelievable people. I had such a great time running against them, because they’re such great people.”

Webber is confident going into the position and will start training with current SU president Charlotte Kingston and attend the next board of governors meeting in April that deals with the market modifier tuition proposals.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the executive, too,” said Webber. “We’re all really a cohesive bunch and U of C will not be disappointed.”

Joining Webber on the SU will be Jennifer Abbott, VP student life with 43 per cent of the vote; Alyssa Stacy, VP academic with 37 per cent; James Delaney, VP operations and finance; and Hardave Birk, who narrowly took the position of VP external with 40 per cent over the second-place Sean Paris.

“It wasn’t the biggest victory that it could have been, but I’m happy, a win is a win,” said Birk. “My race was decided by 67 votes, every little bit counted, all the clubs that pushed for me, all my really good friends that went out there.”

Kingston said that overall this year’s race was one of the most hotly contested she’s witnessed.

“We had some of the strongest candidates that I’ve ever seen in my whole time here at the U of C,” said Kingston. “We were going to get lucky no matter who we ended up with.”

Sixty-nine per cent of students also voted in favour of a $1.25 increase per session for full-time students, and a $0.50 increase per session for part-time students in support of expanding the current Student Refugee Program, allowing the number of sponsored students to grow to two.

Other than Brocke the rest of the current SU VPs swept their respective races. Current VP external Kay She will sit on the BoG next year, with Meg Martin, VP academic, and Kat Lord, VP events, serving together on the senate.

Approximately 3,836 undergraduate student students (16.1 per cent) turned out to vote, up slightly from 3,486 last-year.

Elected officials will be sworn into office on May 1.

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