Volume 96, Issue 86
Thursday, March 13, 2003

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SOGS pick a new President

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff



With a record turnout of 312 graduate students casting their votes, the Society of Graduate Students elected their new president – Daryl White – after a week of online voting.

White, a PhD candidate in history, won 180 of the 312 votes cast, while his competitor Muhammad Kamran Khan received 131 votes with only one spoiled ballot.

Voting took place Mar. 3-7, said Ryan Robb, the chief returning officer at SOGS.

"We haven't had an election in four years," Robb said, adding all of SOGS's presidents were acclaimed over that period.

"It was a record turnout for a presidential election," Robb said, adding the last presidential election saw approximately 180 votes cast.

No quorum is necessary for a winner to be declared and just over 10 per cent of the graduate student population voted, Robb explained.

White said he was hoping to address several issues in his term as president, which he was unable to do as SOGS VP-finance.

"I hope to be able to improve things for graduate students," White said, noting the timing of the campaign period, which occured over Reading Week, is part of the antiquated SOGS bylaws he hopes to update and improve.

"My main goal is to encourage people to realize there are common issues for graduate students," White explained.

"Another major initiative includes improving the abysmal service in our health plan," he said, adding the aim is to ensure students receive their reimbursement faster than they have in the past.

"[Turnout] was really good for a student election," said SOGS VP-external Sarah McCarter. "It's really exciting to see so much enthusiasm in SOGS."

Interest in SOGS seems to be growing, McCarter said. Over the last six months to a year, SOGS has been encouraging more graduate students to join committees and attend council meetings, she explained.

Attendance at council meetings has since tripled, and committee attendance has sky-rocketed, McCarter said.

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