Thursday night saw the election of old and new faces to the Students’ Union executive team, with one incumbent re-taking their current position alongside the Board of Governors Representative.
In the Vice-President (External) race, uncontested GFC student representative Adam Woods won with 5,147 votes out of 6,056 cast in the first round, or 85 per cent of the vote.
This year’s win heralded a double victory for Woods, who came in second in the same race last year. But Woods says the extra year made him a better candidate and will help with his upcoming term.
“I think at the end of the day, you have to prove yourself in the eyes of campus and in the eyes of those who’ve already been doing it a long time,” he said.
The first thing Woods plans to do taking over the Vice-President (External) portfolio is address the current budgetary crisis the University of Alberta faces.
“We saw pretty clear what some of the issues are with the budget today, so I think my first priority will be going after those things that were cut. Obviously, we want that money back,” he said.
One campaign point Woods plans to fulfill immediately is advocating for the reinstatement of the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP), which was suspended in Thursday’s provincial budget announcement.
Vice-President (Academic) incumbent Dustin Chelen took 86 per cent of the vote in his uncontested race, seizing 5,220 votes out of 6,035.
Chelen plans to tackle his next term in office by picking up where he left off.
“When May 1 hits, I’ll still be plugging away at the key issues that students care about: quality teaching, textbooks, things like that,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to a second semester; there’s a lot of work to do.”
Compared to last year’s heavily-contested Vice-President (Academic) race, this year’s campaign was a breeze for Chelen, who admits the lack of contestants affected his effort.
“I wish there were more candidates; it would have challenged me more,” he said. “I got lazy throughout this campaign because I was working as VPA during the time campaigning was going on.”
William Lau won the only contested Vice-President race, taking Student Life with 3,240 votes out of 6,111 cast, or 53 per cent of the vote. Lau said he will be meeting with next year’s executive, Operations and Finance in particular, to begin talking about change.
Vice-President (Operations and Finance) winner Josh Le came out on top in his race against None of the Above, with 5,407 votes out of 6,137 — a whopping 88 per cent of the vote and the largest margin of any winner.
Le expressed relief that the race was over, and said the first thing he’s going to do is get a good night’s sleep.
“It’s all been a blur, but I’m glad it’s finally over. I can get back to life, back to school, back to family and friends,” he said.
Le said he plans to start by learning the ins and outs of the portfolio.
“Nothing too sexy — getting the job done, making (the portfolio) more relevant and good for students,” he said. Current Board of Governors Representative Brent Kelly also re-took his position with 83 per cent of the vote, eking out 5,028 votes from 6,029 in total.
“I’m honoured to have earned the trust of students for another year,” he said.
“I’m really excited with Petros (Kusmu) to stand up for student interests on our Board of Governors.”