Volume 95, Issue 79
Thursday, February 21, 2002
Operation: Presidency - Sinal wins
Front-runner avoids 'massive' upset
By Joel Brown
Despite his rocky past and the slimmest victory margin in 10 years, all Chris Sinal cares about is that he came out on top at last night's University Student's Council presidential election.
The former VP-student affairs bested runner-up Mike Liebrock by only 152 votes, securing him the USC's top spot next year.
While Sinal's USC experience may have given him name recognition among students and respect among USC members, he said he never felt over confident about his chances.
"The only way to run in an election is to constantly work for every vote and be surprised as everyone else when the final tally is announced," he said, saying he was not surprised by the close finish.
He believes with this election, the ghost of Operation: Massive will be put to rest once and for all and not affect his credibility with councillors.
"It'll have no bearing on me," he said. "Having been a councillor for three years, I know what councilors look for is someone who has knowledge of how the USC works and how big a job it is being president. I believe council has a lot of faith."
Sinal's campaign manager, Adam Lawrence, said although Leibrock's attacks may have cost Sinal votes, the president-elect was able to gain an advantage in the election by corralling plenty of off-campus support.
"And even though some people had said he had bad relationships with most of the sophs, from his time as the head soph for the info team, he had a lot of his support," Lawrence added.
This year's race was the closest since 1992 when Scott Bradley was elected by a margin of 18 votes over runner-up Sarah Nixon.
"I'm really excited about it," said chief returning officer Jordan Glick. "Right up until the end we still thought there were three or four candidates who could have won this thing."
This year 3,765 votes were cast for president, 8 less than last year.
Current USC president Mike Lawless believes Sinal will make an excellent president.
"He's got a big heart," he said. "His strength is the quality of his character. He truly cares about what role the president can play and he'll be a passionate and inspiring leader."
Lawless said while Sinal's experience will be valuable, he must make sure he does not allow it to interfere with the growth of council.
"He's going to have to remember that he'll be working with a new board and a new team," he said. "Things won't work the same way as they did two years ago."
Lawless had just one bit of advice for his successor.
"Take in each second the time goes way too fast."
Sinal said being USC president will give him the opportunity to accomplish great things for Western students "Everything I've talked about and a whole lot more."
Copyright © The Gazette 2002