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By John Intini and Aaron Wherry
The changing of the University Students' Council guard was completed Saturday with the election of next year's four vice-presidents.
After struggling through two weeks of campaigning which consisted of 30 minute interviews with each of the nearly 110 outgoing and incoming councillors as well as Saturday's 10 hour Annual General Meeting, where the election was held the four VP-elects were at a loss for words.
"I don't really have the words [to explain it]. I'm just so happy," said fourth-year Administrative and Commercial Studies student Jeff Sutton, who won the two-person race for VP-education. "I think [the councillors] saw the work I put in. People saw the leadership ability I have."
In the other two-person race, first-year honours and business administration student Dave Brebner won a tight race over fourth-year ACS student Neil Kapoor and said he was not surprised by the close vote.
"I was getting feedback that Neil did a good job in the interviews," Brebner said, as tears welled up in his eyes. "My opening speech didn't go well, but I think my interviews over the last couple weeks went really well."
Brebner said his job now was to continue on the positive track set this year and provide students with as much information as possible about the USC's finances.
Fourth-year music student Andrea Boulay said she was extremely happy after winning the VP-campus issues spot and admitted to being relieved the elections were over.
"I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm speechless," she said.
Boulay added there was a lot of work to be done and said she would spend the rest of this school year and the summer working to fully understand her new role. "I'm going to take the time to learn what Perry [Monaco] does. There's a lot of learning to do and I have big shoes shoes to fill."
Chris Sinal, a second-year history student at Huron College, won the VP-student affairs position over four other candidates and said he was blown away by the results.
"Wow!" he said. "It's amazing. It was honestly a good race. Everybody had some good ideas." He added his biggest job now was to protect the rules of orientation week, which was the main part of his platform.
Science councillor Brian Laski, a member of council for three years, said he was quite confident in the newly elected Board, but admitted the final results surprised him. "I thought a couple people had this locked up and in the end, some people came out of nowhere," he said, adding he did not want to divulge the names of the people who fell into this category.
The election was of the utmost importance to president-elect Dave Braun who said he was quite pleased with the group chosen to work alongside him starting this May.
"The council picked four dedicated, energetic and capable people," he said, adding he expected next year's Board to be a tight and cohesive group on both a professional and personal level.