SU election results announced

By Michael Grondin

“We see smiles, we see tears, but I want to give the utmost respect to anyone who put themselves out there. The SU is in good hands,” said current Students’ Union president Dylan Jones after the 2012-2013 su representatives were announced on March 8.

Over 5,700 students voted in the election this year, down one per cent from last year’s turnout, but still beating the previous year by six per cent.

Chief Returning Officer Rabiya Mansoor attributes the turnout to less candidate engagement with students.

She said voter turnout was positive, regardless of the fact that it was less than last year.

“I hoped more students would have voted because the Students’ Union works for them and it would be better if more students were involved,” she said.

Diversity was reflected in the representatives, and according to Jones, a range of hard-working individuals with different backgrounds and attitudes campaigned and were elected this year.

“Every year you get a different flavour, and either way it’s something good — a bunch of people trying to do the right thing for students and the university community,” said Jones.

Hardave Birk grabbed the position of president, beating Matt McMillan by just four per cent. Birk is advocating to keep MacHall in students’ hands.

He plans to battle tuition increases and introduce a smartphone application to encourage student engagement on campus.

Birk was the VP external in the 2010-2011 school year, and lost the presidential race to Jones last year.

“The students are usually never wrong in who they pick to put on the su, and what we have is a really diverse set of people on the team who have a lot of different backgrounds,” said Birk. “We have a diverse group who can represent a diverse university, and it’s the different perspectives that make a difference.”

Kenya-Jade Pinto and Michelle Huie ran a close race for the VP academic position. Pinto received 53 per cent of the vote, beating Huie by 266 votes.

“We’re lucky because all the candidates this year were up to the job, and it would have been great any way it turned out,” said Pinto.

For vp external, Raphael Jacob will be replacing Matt McMillan. Jacob is a current representative for the faculty of arts. He attributes his success partially to his campaign video, which received over 2,300 views. He thinks students connected with the video, as well as his Ninja Turtle persona. Jacob’s platform consists of maintaining a high standard of learning for students while fighting against mandatory non-instructional fees. He believes that it was his visibility that allowed him to win.

He won 57 per cent of the vote, beating Kourtney Pratt and Maral Kiani.

Scott Weir will be next year’s vp operations and finance. He beat Jason Hong with 59 per cent of the vote. Weir is also a current representative for the faculty of arts, and he wants to improve sustainable practices, as well as increase student engagement.

VP student life was taken by Hayley Wade, beating Kevin Kempe and Mike Rines with 50 per cent of the vote. Her campaign was the most controversial of all the candidates this year with her “great dick, bro” posters, but it paid off in her favour. She wants to diminish the commuter-campus attitude at the University of Calgary.

According to Mansoor, the only issues that occurred were posters put up in illegal areas and dealing with the attention garnered from Wade’s controversial poster.

Vincent St. Pierre will be the student representative on the Board of Governors, beating out Chris Skappak and Kyle Bly.

Kelsy Norman, Hana Kadri, Sarah Damberger and Jack Mills will be next year’s representatives for the faculty of arts.

Justin Pon and Carol Yan will be representing the Haskayne School of Business.

The engineering reps will be Tyler Fischer and Trevor Bestwick.

Olabode Adegbayike, Marvi Cheema and Tyler Pentland are next year’s science reps.

The medicine rep is Stefana Pancic, and Riley Simister will represent nursing.

According to current vp academic Ola Mohajer, it is always difficult to measure how effective a team will be, but she believes that next year’s staff are capable.

“I think all of the people who have been elected are responsible, and I think they are hard-working and will have, for the most part, the best interest of students in mind,” said Mohajer.

Mohajer says valuing the diversity of opinions, are having a balance of approaches and viewpoints to see all the angles is important if the leaders of the su want to be effective.

“As long as they value that diversity, they’ll be able to bring everything back to the middle and find the best course of action for any situation.”

The elected representatives will be sworn in on April 27, 2012.


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