CityFeaturesOpinionStudents' Union

Poster Slam 2016

It’s time for the annual panel where a team of bitter journalists critique the people putting themselves out there to be your next Students’ Union executives. We don’t care about their platforms. Only their posters.

The Panel

Adaire Beatty – Design Witch

Zach Borutski – Nice Guy

Josh Greschner – Ice Breaker

Oumar Salifou – Confused Teen

Kevin Schenk – Real Talk

Jon Zilinski – Hot Long Jon


Fahim Rahman


All except Oumar: Frahman.Oumar: Frahman? What the fuck is his name!?

Kevin: He’s looking away.

Oumar: We have to find a word for that. Is it a grin? Is it a grimace?

Adaire: It’s a half smile. It looks like someone died in his family and he has to be doing this.

Oumar: He looks like he just entered the group chat and he’s getting roasted.

Kevin: He said ‘Hi’ and no one said hi back.

Jon: He looks like he just stole my bowl of Lucky Charms.

Oumar: Experiential learning opportunities? Like field trips?

Josh: His hair blends in with the F, and when you look at it…

Adaire: It looks like a penis. I see a penis.

Kevin: I like how his bowtie matches the font.

Adaire: It’s cute.

Adaire: I wouldn’t have broken up the R like that. It looks like Adidas.

Kevin: It looks like a screw.

Zach: It looks like a logo for a cellphone company.

Dylan Hanwell


Adaire: Aww.

Oumar: It’s a boyband poster.

Adaire: Justin Bieber’s running for our president.

Zach: These photos are uncomfortably candid.

Oumar: It’s like he’s adjusting his dick right there.

Adaire: It’s like when they’re going to announce a pregnancy.

Jon: And he’s so happy he’s the father.

Oumar: He’s waiting for his dad to pick him up.

Jon: I can’t believe that his only point on the poster is to get a cheap UPass.

Kevin: We already have a cheap UPass.

Jon: We’re gonna get a cheaper UPass.

Adaire: Why do they all have to have their initials as personal logos?

Zach: If he was wearing a leather jacket he would be a background character in Grease.

Cody Bondarchuk


Kevin: So campus equity. What does that mean?

Oumar: Using the Green and Gold is lazy. Get your own colours.

Josh: He stole the speech bubble from Bell Let’s Talk.

Oumar: Cody Let’s Talk.

Kevin: It’s just so vague.

Adaire: I think the design is fresh.

Jon: I feel like he made this his Gmail icon and he’s invading my Google doc.

Zach: It’s honestly one of the less offensive posters here.

Jon: Where the hell is his dog?

Kevin: I wish he chose a photo without a background for this. It’s odd.

Oumar: The real question is, who is that in the background? That could be anybody. That could be Indira making a comeback. That could be Navneet showing her endorsement for Cody.

Vice-President (Academic)

Tom Patrick


All: Toilet paper.
Kevin: Obviously the worst one.

Adaire: Is he an athlete? It looks like an athlete photo.

Jon: Money yelling at apples.

Zach: It looks like he bought this template online.

Adaire: Why the purple Tom?

Josh: It’s the Minnesota Vikings colours.

Jon: It’s the Teen Titans logo.

Zach: This is the kind of poster that would be really good in 2003.

Adaire: It looks like all Tom did was show up for a portrait and gave everything else to a designer and it was put together chop chop. Here’s the information. Here I am. I’m not creative. My name’s Tom. He’s a meat and potatoes kind of man.

Oumar: On the ballots it should just have candidates’ logos. T. DH. X.

Adaire: They really should team up with the design program and every year, a class should design the posters. They wouldn’t necessarily improve them, but you know.

Marina Banister


Zach: I feel like she’s come into the room to give me some terrible news.

Adaire: It’s the folders, the colours and the coat. I feel like she came into the room to put my legs in stirrups and then giggle about my vagina with me, and maybe give me a pap smear and tell me it’s not that bad while I cry and she gives me a pink lollipop.

Zach: I like how friendly she is.

Kevin: They’re on her other poster, but her points actually make sense. They’re specific and only in four words. I don’t really know what Fahim and Cody want to do. And they’re running for president. She’s running for VPA.

Jon: Instead of Marina Banister it could say “Have you been tested for HPV?”

Oumar: I always get tested.

Adaire: Marina Banister. Make sure you’re checked out. This poster is about her and only her. It doesn’t matter what she’s running for and what her mandate is.

Zach: But she has her shit together.

Vice-President (Student Life)

Levi Flaman


Adaire: NO.

Kevin: It looks like he wants to sell me a house.

Zach: He looks like a realtor.

Oumar: He’s the principal.

Zach: He looks a lot like the Bears football coach.

Oumar: He looks like my dad.

Zach: I don’t think this guy would represent my interests as a student.

Kevin: Security?

Adaire: Maybe he’s selling an alarm system.

Zach: The white around all of them makes it look really cut rate.

Kevin: He looks like a nice guy though.

Oumar: He looks like he’ll drive you to soccer practice, make sure you’re safe by walking you home and he’s the head of the community organization.

Josh: He’s got multiple languages on most of  his branding, I hope it’s all grammatically correct.

Jordan Simao


All: Whoa.

Zach: That hurts me.

Adaire: It’s kind of fun. Very Pop Art.

Josh: Very acid tab.

Kevin: It’s an evolution of the year when everybody did black and white outlines of their faces.

Josh: You don’t even know what he looks like.

Adaire: Do I need to?

Oumar: “Persistent practical leadership” doesn’t
tell us anything.

Adaire: Why does he have no chin? He’s barely there. The typeface is fun but it’s too juvenile. We’re not preteen girls.

Francesca El Ghossein


Oumar: Whoa.

Kevin: She blends in with the background.

Oumar: I can’t read the type.

Kevin: You should get a photographer who knows what they’re doing.

Josh: SubPrint’s on her shirt.

Jon: I like her SubPrint shirt.

Adaire: I want one. Where’d she get it?

Kevin: Her points are the most typical SU election points.

Zach: Isn’t “Advocating for student agency” and “Supporting student initiative” the same thing?

Oumar: Someone needs to explain these buzzwords. They assume that we know these things.

Kevin: They’re all just copy-pasted on.

Oumar: Very basic.

Josh: All the darkness makes her look like a Sith Lord.

Zach: She should add more purple.

Adaire: I can’t see her face.

Jon: She needs to come out of the shadows to win.

Kevin Wang


All: Whoa.

Adaire: Oh my god, I love it.

Zach: It looks like the cover of a teen magazine.

Oumar: His eyes are looking up in ecstasy.

Adaire: I wish it was “Vote Wang.”

Zach: He’s hosting YTV!

Josh: And having an orgasm.

Zach: Why does he have a Blackberry barcode?

Kevin: Those are QR codes. You need an app to read it. No one will.

Josh: “Making the university more inclusive for the diversity of students” is terrible grammar.

Adaire: It’s like he’s looking away from all the visual distractions of his poster.

Zach:He’s also in front of President.

Adaire: I just can’t. It’s screaming at us.

Oumar: It’s too much.

Jon: It looks like a student newspaper cover.

Zach: He’s excited about governance, and I like that.

Jon: This has energy.

Vice-President (Operations and Finance)

Taimur Malik


Josh: It looks like a Mariah Carey album.

Oumar: I can barely see his face.

Adaire: Does he have hair?

Oumar: So by “We the Union,” he means 22.5 per cent of students.

Adaire: What is “We the Union”?

Kevin: It’s like “We the North.”

Zach: I hate the Raptors.

Kevin: I like the dollar sign on Ops-Fi.

Jon: That means he knows about money.

Adaire: He is money. Look at his scarf.

Josh: “Increase revenue of SU businesses” is literally his job description.

Adaire: This is one of the best I’ve seen.

Jon: He overexposed it so you can draw his hair for him.

Kevin: He looks like Draco Malfoy.

Oumar: Slytherin colours. It’s hard to rip on it. It’s so basic.

Hasan Birer


Kevin: This one is awful.

Jon: What’s his name? Hasan Brier? Beer?

Adaire: It’s like a rom-com.

Jon: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Kevin: In the 80s.

Jon: It’s Hell’s Kitchen type.

Kevin: He’s dressed like a waiter.

Adaire: It looks like he’s going to take me on a date, serve me food and then suck my blood after.

Kevin: “Create a Hub for international harmony.” Ok.

Oumar: How are you going to set tuition fees?

Josh: He’ll sit in an office and think it over.

Kevin: It’s like the cover of a self-published book on Amazon.

Adaire: I feel like he’s going to lead me into a waltz and step on my feet.

Jon: He lives in Sherwood Park.

Josh: He’s doing his button up.

Oumar: He’s undoing his button.

Zach: He doesn’t have a button. He’s barely holding it together.

Jon: I don’t think he’s holding anything together.

Robyn Paches


Adaire: He looks so scared.

Kevin: Why is his cardigan not done up? I don’t like that.

Adaire: The dark colours in the portrait aren’t helping.

Zach: It’s such a business kid photo. Every business kid I know has this exact photo on their Facebook.

Kevin: The quality of the photo is ok. The pose is really boring.

Adaire: He looks buff.

Oumar: Revitalize L’Express? What does he need to revitalize? Online healthy food guide? You’re managing our money. Who’s going to read this? I don’t want anybody telling me how to eat.

Josh: Half of it looks like an African flag.

Zach: He took the photos for each of his posters ten minutes apart.

Kevin: He should have said he’s going to Patch up the finances.

Zach: It looks like he’s in a wind tunnel.

Adaire: It looks like someone ran up to him and was like ‘Photo!’

Vice-President (External)

Patrick X. Cajina


Oumar: Oh boy here we go. Whoa.

Jon: Well great.

Kevin: This fucking photographer. There’s the subject and the super overexposed background.

Oumar: It looks like garbage.

Josh: It looks like he’s emerging from Heaven.

Jon: How are you supposed to vote for him when he’s dead?

Oumar: It’s the second coming of Christ.

Adaire: God has given you me.

Josh: It’s funny that he has the X. As if there are a lot of Patrick Cajinas around.

Jon: The only thing I can focus on is the Abercrombie logo on his shirt.

Adaire: And the suspenders.

Zach: I didn’t realize those were suspenders at first. I thought he had a tie looped over his shoulder.

Oumar: It’s a gun holster. He’s a detective.

Adaire: His face looks tiny because of the light. And why does ‘for’ get its own fucking line? I hate that typeface. What is that?

Oumar: He wants to pop out.

Zach: This poster looks like it was made in a very short amount of time.

Oumar: Why Abercrombie? He could have gone with J.Crew.

Jon: Because he’s in high school.

Kevin: I don’t think so because he’s ran for like 6 years in a row.

Jon: He has nice eyebrows.

Oumar: Jesus did have perfect eyebrows.

Mike Sandare


Adaire: Do they just get their friends to design the posters?

Jon: This is the alternate movie poster for Creed.

Oumar: He’s going to get sued by Sundance.

Adaire: MIKE.

Kevin: Another overexposed photo.

Oumar: He’s going to assault people into voting for him.

Jon: He’s going to assault student fees.

Kevin: The photo has some awful editing. His face will turn out yellow.

Adaire: The most important type should always be near the face because it draws your eye. Ugh.

Oumar: He left all that space for us to vandalize his poster. And I’m thanking him for that.

Adaire: Is he an actual boxer?

Jon: It’s a smart tactic to make his election points so small that you don’t even pay attention to them. “International student employment.”

Adaire: Oh my god. “Ships.” “Ships.” The fact that “partnerships” is hyphenated and then “ships” is just hanging there. Oh my god. I’m going to draw a boat on every single one. I can’t even handle this. Never ever ever ever ever.

Kevin: This looks like a boxing comedy. It’s like a movie where the President has to start boxing.

Adaire: Honestly, I can’t.

Reed Larsen


All: Meth!

Jon: This poster is huge.

Josh: It’s a lot of face per square inch.

Kevin: It seems kind of monotone.

Zach: I don’t really believe that he wants to be a part of it.

Adaire: The all-caps is like he’s yelling.

Jon: He’s setting himself up for graffiti.

Adaire: I’m a white guy.

Jon: I’m a white guy with meth. Do you want to be a part of it?

Josh: Meth will affect your mental health, your employment, your ability to pay tuition and your housing.

Jon: Thank you Reed Larsen.

Josh: Vanilla.

Adaire: It’s like vanilla without sugar. There’s nothing sweet about this.

Zach: Milk-flavoured ice cream.

Jon: You can literally take out his photo and put in a cob of corn and be like ‘Hey guys it’s your friendly neighbourhood cob of corn, I’ll be tackling tuition with my meth empire! Want to be a part of it?’ and it would be a joke candidate.

Undergraduate Board of Governors Representative

Colin Champagne


Adaire: The first things I see are his face and the bricks.

Kevin: He’s like the cast member from the Entourage that got cut.

Oumar: I like the Wall Street suit. He can take me to a fancy restaurant and tell me about my taxes.

Josh: What’s “Actively keeping students in the game?”

Zach: What’s the game?

Oumar: He’s advocating for varsity sports.

Kevin: We’re not here to play games, we’re here to learn.

Jon: I wish he had shaved.

Adaire: The typeface and the way it looks is very Christian. I feel like he’s going to give us a sermon.

Final Thoughts

Kevin: Last year they were boring. At least they’re not this year.

Zach: People are trying different things.

Adaire: Kevin’s is engaging.

Zach: I can appreciate that Mike went for a gimmick.

Adaire: You can tell that people are trying. I would say that overall they’re bad/ok to pretty ok/good. But a lot are too similar with that overexposed photography and the empty space beside the face.

Oumar: Marina’s is definitely the cleanest one. When I see it I trust her. She’s a doctor.

Kevin: I’m surprised no one went for a Star Wars theme this year.

Jon: I feel like nobody went for any theme. Except for Hell’s Kitchen.


Best Poster — “Playin’ Doctor” by Marina Banister

Worst Poster — “Meth!” by Reed Larsen

Spirit Awards — “Gettin’ Hot in Hell’s Kitchen” by Hasan Birer and “Vote Wang” by Kevin Wang

Most Fatal Design Errors — “KO” by Mike Sandare

Most Over-Exposed — “Hairway to Heaven” by Taimur Malik

Over-Exposure Finalists — “Abercrombie” by Patrick X. Cajina and “Meth!” by Reed Larsen

Most Likely to be Vandalized — “KO” by Mike Sandare

Most Easily Transferable to a Real Estate Sales Context — “Walmart Portrait Studio” by Levi Flaman

Oumar Salifou

Oumar Salifou is a political science student, The Gateway's 2018-19 Editor-in-Chief, and a radio journalist.


  1. jesus christ ive seen like eight years of these and every time some asshole’s like “me! I will be the one to finally supply students with the fresh and healthy food options they crave!”

Related Articles

Back to top button