Siu defeats Mohajer in science rep election

Science students voted in Jack Siu as their new faculty representative Oct. 28. With 43 per cent of the vote, Siu claimed the position of Science faculty representative. Ola Mohajer was a close second with 36 per cent of the vote and Philip Hanson third with 27 per cent. A total of 238 science students voted in the Students’ Union byelection.

“It went pretty well despite the amount of time I could put into campaigning because I had a few midterms coming up,” said Siu. “It went surprisingly well.”

On Sept. 30, Mohajer resigned from her position as one of the faculty of science representatives after being denied a term excusal by the Student Legislative Council. Mohajer is currently attending McGill University as a visiting student for the fall 2010 semester and will return to Calgary for the winter semester.

“Of course the results are disappointing as I really wanted to continue my projects and finish up my term,” said Mohajer. “But at the same time if the students were not comfortable with me being here because they felt like they needed a vote on SLC then that is their right and I am totally okay with that.”

Mohajer said she hopes to continue working with the SU.

With almost half the year over, Siu plans to create a volunteer run newsletter for science students.

“It is aimed at promoting science students in terms of what we do, so the kind of research we have, the research our professors do and science in the world in general,” said Siu. “It would be a way for students to get some extra-curricular activities as well.”

Mohajer was working on two major projects prior to resigning. The first was a research opportunities website for science students, and the second was an initiative to make textbooks and class materials more affordable for students.

“Whether I do it or some one else does it I think it is a really important project for science students,” said Mohajer.

Siu is open to the idea of continuing initiatives started by Mohajer.

“I haven’t really looked into what she has been working on,” said Siu. “But if it is do-able in my time then it would make sense to do it as well.”

Aleena Mansoor, the other science faculty representative, is excited to work with Siu.

“The point of the election was to let students decide who they want to represent them,” said Mansoor. “Jack’s wonderful.”

Mansoor has started creating a students’ association for the faculty of science.

“That will probably be what Jack and I will be working on,” said Mansoor. “Hopefully we will get that up and going by the end of this year.”

Siu believes Mohajer’s absence from campus is part of the reason he was elected as the new faculty representative.

“In terms of experience she is a step above me so I can see why she got voted in last year,” said Siu. “But it is hard to represent if you are not physically there.”

The byelection also included two referendum questions regarding the elimination of the Career Services and access fees from the SU levy.

The Access Fee provided funds to the Disability Resource Centre.

The university will now provide funding for these services under the General Non-program Fee.

“When these levies came into place many years ago it was really just the SU offering a hand to the university,” said SU president Lauren Webber. “Now things have sort of flourished and matured and we are ready to hand it off now back to the university.”

Webber said the referendum results will not affect the quality of the services. A written agreement is being drafted to ensure the same amount of money that was going to these resources from the student levy will continue under the General Non-program Fee.

The referendum question had a turn out of 566 voters.

Chief returning officer Sabrina Grover thought the referendum went successfully.

“In terms that there wasn’t much promotion around the referendum, we did get a significant amount of people who voted,” said Grover.

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