The results for the Students’ Union 2022 election were announced on March 10 at a Results Announcement Party held at Dewey’s.
With a 18.59 per cent turnout, the Students’ Union 2022 election had a total of 6,037 votes cast. The 2022-23 elected Students’ Union executive team consists entirely of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) students.
Monteiro elected Students’ Union president with 58 per cent of the vote on third ballot
Abner Monteiro, sixth-year kinesiology student and current vice-president (academic), will be the next president of the Students’ Union with 58 per cent of the vote on third ballot.
When considering the results of the race, Monteiro described himself as “so happy” and “so grateful.”
“I’m so happy and so grateful to all the students who put their faith in me,” Monteiro said. “[I’m so grateful to] be able to represent them, and [them] believing in my ideas. I’m so proud of my team — our team has been on the ground working so hard over the past few days.”
As he enters the role of president, Monteiro plans to consult with with his team to ensure the ideas presented by his team during the campaign will be fulfilled.
“The first thing I’m going to do as Students’ Union president is sit down with my team and make sure we get all our ideas together and figure out all our strategic plans for the year, and our vision for the Students’ Union and the U of A to make sure we follow through on the ideas that will shape the student body.”
Coming in second was Emily Kimani with 42 per cent of the votes in the last round. She described herself as “disappointed” with the results of the race, but “happy” for Monteiro.
“I think he ran a fantastic race — and I’m happy for him.”
When looking to the future, Kimani described plans to finish her current term as vice-president (operations and finance), before transitioning the next candidate to the role and graduating from her undergraduate degree.
Haruun Ali came in third place, being eliminated on the second round of voting with 23 per cent of the votes. When considering the results of the night, Ali said he “feels great.”
“I’m very happy Monteiro was able to win — the best candidate did win, and it happened to be [Monteiro],” Ali said.
When considering the future, Ali alluded to a future in student governance.
“I’m probably going to be back on Students’ Council and run for [an] arts seat,” he said. “I’m excited for this next year.”
When asked if he will run for Students’ Union president again, Ali said “probably.”
“Probably — I’m always around to.”
Villoso elected VP Ops Fi with 85 per cent of the votes
Julia Villoso, a third-year bachelor of arts student and the sole vice-president (operations and finance) (VP Ops Fi) candidate will be the next Students’ Union vice-president (operations and finance) (VP Ops Fi), with 85 per cent of the votes.
Villoso expressed that she was glad that the margin was 85 per cent. Her race was uncontested and “[her] goal was to get a really high margin.”
Her two weeks of campaigning “was a lot of things happening behind the scenes” but she is “glad it happened”
As she enters into her new position, she will be getting started on the student handbook that was mentioned in her platform. She has “already created one [on her own] so I don’t think this will take long, I’m really excited to get started.”
Villoso thanked everybody who voted for her, as well as her campaign team.
“I’d just like to thank everybody who voted for me… I would also like to thank my campaign team for all their work, especially Nicole De Grano, she worked on my campaign last year, and this year she worked her butt off but yeah it’s been amazing,” Villoso said.
Fotang re-elected VPX by 33 votes, closest race of the election
Christian Fotang, fourth-year biological science student, was re-elected as vice-president (external) (VPX) in the closest race of the night.
Fotang had 33 more votes than Chris Beasley on the last ballot of the race, a fifth-year political science student. The vote went two rounds, with Fotang technically winning 50.3 per cent of the vote, and Beasley winning 49.7 per cent of the vote.
The VPX elect spoke about how he is going to continue fighting for students.
“We showed students why they needed more,” Fotang said. “Why they needed better representation from me. And Fotang’s not finished, and that’s what I’m gonna keep doing. I’m gonna keep advocating for students. I’m gonna keep working hard.”
“There’s lots of work that needs to be done. There’s new ideas that need to be implemented.”
“I want to thank all the students who voted,” Fotang said. “It was a real close one. I have so much respect for my opponent. Chris [Beasley] is a fantastic advocate, a fantastic student leader.”
Beasley reflected on his campaign in his interview.
“We connected with a lot of students,” he said. “We learned a lot. And we connected a lot of students with the [Students’ Union]. That’s what matters most.”
When asked what’s next, Beasley said “we’ll see.”
Kaur elected as VPA, becomes first international student to serve as a UASU exec
Receiving 55 per cent of the vote on the second ballot, Gurleen Kaur was elected as vice-president (academic) (VPA).
Kaur described herself as “really, really happy” with the results.
“I’m going to be the first ever [international student as a] Students’ Union executive,” she said. “I’m really thankful to everybody, especially to my competitor.”
“He worked very hard — I feel he hasn’t run alone, I feel he has also won too.”
She described the two weeks of campaigning as a “really great experience” for her, where she “learnt a lot” and “made a lot of connections.”
Milan Regmi received 45 per cent of the vote on the second ballot. When considering the results of the election, Regmi spoke highly of the VPA-elect.
“I’m happy [Kaur] won, she deserves it,” he said. “We’re going to [work] together… it was an honour to run against her, and I couldn’t have asked for a better opponent.”
When looking to the future, Regmi described himself as “not done” with student governance.
“I’m definitely not finished yet, I’m potentially considering running for Students’ Council, for General Faculties Council (GFC),” he said. “I am also considering trying for the presidency of Organization for Arts Students and Interdisciplinary Studies (OASIS).”
“This is not the end of me in student governance — I’m not done yet.”
Fogue elected VPSL, says Morris ran ‘an amazing campaign’
Joannie Fogue, third-year political science student and current Association des Universitaires de la Faculté Saint-Jean (AUFSJ) president, won the vice-president (student life) (VPSL) race.
She won with 50 per cent of the vote on the first ballot. Rowan Morris, a third-year elementary education student and current Students’ Council education councillor, received 36 per cent.
Fogue noted that she was surprised with the result of the race.
“I don’t know how to feel,” Fogue said. “It was tight as hell. I think [Morris] and I, we fought through the end and I’m just so proud of the both of us and I’m obviously happy, but wow.”
When asked about what she would like to do first in her role as VPSL, Fogue noted that she would like to consult with Morris.
“[I want] to see the points that I didn’t have in my platform, seeing how that can be integrated into my work, and then meeting with different [Student Representative Associations] (SRAs) and seeing how we can make that work,” Fogue said.
Fogue thanked Morris for running “an amazing campaign,” as well as her family, team, and students for “trusting [her], to make sure their advocacy starts with student life.”
Morris noted that they thought Fogue was going to be a “wonderful VPSL,” but was also thinking a lot about the institutional barriers that prevented them from running a stronger campaign.
“The discrimination, the hatred that I faced was horrific,” Morris noted. “Trying to run this while on the autism spectrum and chronically ill — it felt like it was impossible. I’ve come out of this election with the unfortunate conclusion that governance isn’t really meant for marginalized people, and I really hope that can change someday, but these past two weeks have been the hardest two weeks of my life.”
“If I have any recommendations to anyone, it’s to please pay attention to the issues that are brought up throughout the year so that they don’t have to culminate months later and make peoples’ lives very hard.”
Morris commented that they were going to run for Students’ Council again because “advocacy is part of who [they] are” but felt that they were unsure if they’d run for the Students’ Union executive again, unless they saw significant change for transgender students on campus.
“I’m not sure if I want to put myself through the trauma again,” Morris said. “I would love to be an executive, but I do not want to ever have to deal with the hundreds of transphobic messages and comments that I’ve been given.”
“And it sucks too because these are issues I’ve brought up in council throughout the year, but the executive did not really act on them, and it still fell on the brunt of my shoulders.”
Morris thanked their friends for the support they had received, but urged the U of A community to “please listen to trans people.”
Dorschied elected next BoG representative in uncontested race
Alex Dorschied, third-year bachelors of commerce student, is the new undergraduate Board of Governors (BoG) representative, receiving 82 per cent of the votes.
“I feel great about the results,” Dorschied said. “I’m glad to see that I won and that 82 per cent of students supported me. It’s really good to see. I’m happy to represent them coming forward next year.”
“I know I didn’t have the world’s most detailed platform, but I think that at the end of the day, what students care about the most is they are going to have someone on the BoG who cares about what they value.”
He was invited to attend the Board Learning, Research and Student Experience Committee (BLRSEC) by Rowan Ley, current Students’ Union president, to help him transition into his role and to get up-to-date on the Board. He said that as soon as possible, he will make permanent Instagram and Facebook accounts for the Board for students to be informed of what is happening in the Board.
Dorschied thanked his teammates on the Golden Bears Mens’ soccer team who helped him make and put up posters and shot videos for him and also his friends who supported him as well as the U of A student body.
ISA’s fee passes, claims ‘things are going to change’ for international students
The International Students’ Association Fee (ISAF) passed. Chanpreet Singh, current president of the International Students’ Association (ISA), and Dhir Bid, president-elect of the ISA, mentioned how much work had gone into their campaign.
Bid noted that Singh “must’ve put in like 20 [to] 40 hours in a week” for the campaign, and was grateful for the work done by volunteers. For Singh, the ISAF failing wasn’t something that he had considered.
“We feel after two years of hard work, [it] finally paid off,” Singh said. “We never doubted our membership, [or that] our fee [would] ever fail. The only thing we had in mind was the 15 per cent quorum.”
Finally, the two thanked everyone involved in their campaign, with Bid noting that they would organize something for them.
“Things are going to change,” Singh commented. “I’m optimistic for international students. The experience we’re going to give them in this upcoming year is something we would’ve wanted for ourselves. The ISAF is going to change the life of our community members here at [the] U of A and help [the] ISA be a home away from home.”
SLS passes, representative says ‘value is undeniable’
The Student Legal Services (SLS) fee passed.
“I’m very happy about the results,” Jeremy Hoefsloot, representative of SLS. “The value is undeniable… but that wasn’t what this was about, this was about expanding services to students… I think the real winners tonight was University of Alberta undergraduate students.”
“I was excited the whole time because I knew the students here would see the value in it, both for themselves and for the wider community, and I think that it is a positive step forward to make sure that if you need help we will help you,” Marko Zubac, another representative the SLS, said.
When asked about the past two weeks of campaigning, Hoefsloot called it a “different experience.”
“My experience from the two weeks is to expect the unexpected of [Students’ Union] bylaws,” Hoefsloot advised others who may be thinking of running for Students’ Union or an organization who wants to run a fee.
As for next steps, many services will start almost immediately and talk with different project coordinators will also begin. Piloting projects and training of case workers will start in the summer to prepare for September.
SLS would like to thank the U of A students, their advising law firm, and their volunteers.
“Without [the volunteers] this whole organization would not work,” Hoefsloot said.
WUSC referendum passes and thanks volunteers, student groups, and candidates
The World University Service of Canada (WUSC) referendum passed.
“It was a bit of an ask to increase the amount that we are getting, but everyone actually cares a lot about refugee students and helping other people which is awesome,” Damon Bectell, a representative of the WUSC referendum, said.
“We were worried that, given the financial situation a lot of students have been in with budget cuts and tuition increases, that this might not pass because students are under a lot of stress,” Urbah Syed, another representative of the WUSC referendum, said.
WUSC has not run a referendum since the 1980s so the win was “huge.” The team got help from WUSCs from across the country.
This coming year, Campus Saint-Jean will be sponsoring a student and in the following year, both North Campus and Campus Saint-Jean will be able to sponsor a student because of the referendum.
They will also be able to cover the English class required for students who do not meet the minimum English proficiency requirements of the U of A which, due to budget cuts, is no longer covered by the U of A.
WUSC would like to thank the volunteers who gave class talks and attended forums.
“I truly could not have done it without them and I’m just super, super grateful to work with such an amazing team,” Syed said.
“Also just a shout out to the student groups and the candidates who gave us endorsements,” Bectell added.
CFB passes, representative ‘super excited’ about result
The Campus Food Bank (CFB) plebiscite also passed.
Ethan Park, CFB representative, commented briefly on their feelings after the results. He indicated that they’re glad and excited that they get the possibility to continue what they’re currently doing to support students.
“I feel super excited,” Park said. “We work really hard to support students, and it’s good to know the Students’ Union membership still supports us.”
He mentions how the hardest aspect was the CFB being open and operational while also running a campaign. He described being happy with the outcome and thanked everyone working at the CFB, as well as those that supported them throughout the campaign.
According to Park, last month was their busiest month to date and he doesn’t see it slowing down soon. He thanked all those that voted and is proud that they were able to show their value to the student body.
APIRG fails, only plebiscite to do so this election
The Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG) plebiscite did not pass.
Sarah Alemu, APIRG representative, commented on how APIRG will continue “fighting a good fight.” She says how, although there is nothing to do about it now, she does not see APIRG giving up and they will continue to find ways to stay active and exist on the campus community.
“There is nothing we can do about it now, and and we’re really proud of everything,” Alemu said. “I feel like we ran a solid campaign.”
“We’re going to keep doing what we can to ensure we exist, whether it’s on campus or whatever the future holds for us.”
One of the difficulties she mentioned with the campaign is changing from working remotely to being back on campus, but she thoroughly enjoyed engaging with students.
Alemu emphasized how APIRG is still committed to providing funding and resources to student projects, although it is up to the APIRG board for what they do next. According to Alemu, this may be a referendum, but they will figure it out collectively.
The Gateway reached out to the Elections Office for voting data for the Board of Governors representative, plebiscites, and referendums but a representative declined to give full results prior to our deadline.