Thursday night saw the election of four fresh faces to the Students’ Union executive, with one incumbent also taking a win.
In the Vice-President (External) race, Arts councillor Petros Kusmu won with 2,910 votes out of 5,589 cast in the second round, or 52 per cent of the vote.
Kusmu’s victory came after some uncertainty earlier that day. The Discipline, Interpretation and Enforcement Board, the SU’s judiciary body, was deliberating on a ruling that had Kusmu facing possible disqualification.
The ruling was made after one of Kusmu’s volunteers made an announcement during a class that some argued was malicious, which could have led to disqualification. However, the DIE Board ruled that the comment was not malicious, although inappropriate, and fined Kusmu’s campaign $47 because the announcement was made during a class.
Kusmu said some of his proudest moments was engaging students rarely involved in campus life.
“From freestyle raps, to conversations on how hard it is to be a fine arts student, I’ve had some amazing conversations,” he said. “But I also must say, my competition, Dorothy (Roberts) and Adam (Woods), were remarkable. And there have been some road bumps and some apologies on my behalf, but they’ve been remarkable competition.”
Among Kusmu’s first tasks will be to represent the SU during the next provincial election, expected to be called in April.
The incumbent, Andy Cheema, was able to eke out the closest victory of the night in the four-person race for Vice-President (Operations and Finance). Cheema won with 2,694
first place votes out of 5,050 cast in the fourth round, or 53 per cent of the vote.
Second-place finisher Mike McGinn was close behind with 2,356 votes in the fourth round, or 47 per cent. Cheema was relieved to get the victory in what turned out to be an incredibly tight race.
“I’m incredibly happy. I must say, I was really impressed by the competition throughout the entire campaign,” Cheema said. “Even if you didn’t (vote for me), I won’t let you down this year,” he added.
Cheema is looking forward to hitting the ground running once he gets back in office. As he stated throughout his campaign, unlike his fellow new executives, he will understand the requirements of the job from his first day back in office thanks to the full year he’s already spent in the position.
Dustin Chelen came out on top for the Vice-President (Academic) race, taking 2,884 votes out of 4,919 cast in the fourth round, or 59 per cent first place votes.
Chelen was grateful for the work his volunteers put into his campaign, and said he is looking forward to beginning work with the newly-elected executive. Chelen is also eager to start work on some of the initiatives he outlined during the election.
“The first thing I want to work on is finding a new grading policy for students. I think we can get it done fast.”
Saadiq Sumar won the only uncontested race of the election, the Vice-President (Student Life) race with 4,740 votes out of 5,881 cast, or 81 per cent. Sumar said he was excited by the results, and looks forward to sitting on an executive made up of close friends.
Brent Kelly emerged as the winner in the Board of Governors race with 2,712 out of 5,045 votes in the second round, or 54 per cent.
“It’s amazing. It’s so stressful, but I’ve worked hard and I really believe that my message resonated with voters. I wanted to make a change. I want to see that student interests are being strongly advocated for in the Board of Governors.”
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