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UASU Votes 2019: The Candidates as YouTubers

Like YouTube, the Students’ Union election cycle is a cutthroat, competitive, and often straight-up weird Wild West. If you want to vote responsibly but don’t have the time to read up on residence policy and Bill 19, scroll down to get to know your candidates, but as YouTubers.


Akanksha Bhatnagar: ContraPoints

ContraPoints has no patience for disingenuous interlocutors. She knows her shit when it comes to costumes, makeup, production quality, the works. And she’s not afraid to throw mad shade. From resuscitating GovWeek to making jabs at her opponent, Bhatnager’s following in ContraPoints’s footsteps (albeit coming off as less overtly weird and radical).

Andre Bourgeois: Philip DeFranco

If I quit being a Serious Student Journalist and did comms for the Students’ Union, I wouldn’t blink an eye if Andre walked in saying, “Good morning, you beautiful bastards!” before launching into a speech about drama in the Week of Welcome community.

Vice-President (Academic)

Joel Agarwal: MatPat from Game Theory

“Hellloooooo, internet! Welcome to GAME THEORY!” Now just take a moment and imagine Joel Agarwal saying this. Yup, it checks out. I only hope Agarwal uses his all-new undergraduate research resources to bear on the mystery of the FNAF timeline.

Vice-President (External)

Adam Brown: John Green

To this day, I vividly remember reading an Edmonton Journal story about The Fault in Our Stars, where the photo caption read, “John Green is a rock star to teens.” Likewise a relatable father figure, Adam Brown is ready to decrease “world suck” at CASA, or whatever.

Robert Bilak: Hank Green

Often overshadowed by John, Hank Green is more of a cool, goofy older cousin than a dad. But with his debut novel out on shelves, he’s trying, oh is he ever trying, to be more even more of a radical centrist than his big brother. Need I say more?

Vice-President (Operations & Finance)

Luke Statt: VoiceoverPete

VoiceoverPete is the dad of the internet. He wants to support his fans but has so far left his politics indistinct. He supports PewDiePie over T-Series, sure. But does he support Medicare-for-all? The Green New Deal? Who knows. Likewise, Luke Statt is vying to be the dad of our Students’ Union. But his actual positions are being left “to the students.”

Vice-President (Student Life)

Jared Larsen: Big Joel

Big Joel is on the quiet, soft side of leftist video essayist YouTube. Making his mark with Foucauldian analyses of Shrek and Shark Tale, Joel has hinted at a progressive outlook through the sober lens of theory, research, and careful craftmanship. With his HUB heroism and endearing wonkishness, that’s the vibe Jared Larsen gives to me.

Shuaa Rizvi: Grandayy

Memester Extraordinaire Grandayy is famous for his regular outpouring of quality goofs. Yet, unlike many online personalities, he shies away from public life. Like Grandayy, Shuaa Rizvi is unassuming and wholesome. And, like Grandayy, who quit medical practice to make memes full-time, Rizvi’s willing to forgo her scientific studies to commit herself to the community she loves.

Rory Storm: Epic Rap Battles of History

Epic Rap Battles is coming back for its sixth season this spring. I was watching these guys in junior high, and I thought they were the real shit. But several cringey episodes and reductionist historical narratives later, I think we can all agree they’ve had their time. Likewise, the admirable goal of bringing student groups together can only go so far.

Undergraduate Board of Governors Representative

Rowan Ley: Vsauce Michael

If Mind Field ended and Vsauce resumed its regular programming, would you honestly notice a difference if Rowan Ley jumped into the shot, shouting the immortal line, “Hey Vsauce! Michael here?” No. No, you would not. Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ley already hosts, like, Vsauce 4. Is there a Vsauce 4? I don’t know. I don’t want to know — unless Ley’s in the picture.

Jonah Dunch

Jonah Dunch is in his third year of a BA Honours with a major in philosophy and a minor in drama. Aside from his work at The Gateway, Jonah writes, directs, and acts in plays. He eats your clicks for dinner.

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