Rowe next USC head honcho

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Rowe with 3957 votes

With her campaign team mobbing her after the announcement, Emily Rowe was announced as the next University Students’ Council president on Wednesday evening.

Rowe, a third-year social science student and current Social Science Students’ Council President, garnered 3,957 votes and was elated following the announcement.

“I’m so unbelievably excited ... it’s beyond description,” she said. “I want to give congratulations to everyone who ran. Everyone did a phenomenal job.”

Over the two-week campaign, Rowe’s “Boom De Ya Da” campaign video garnered plenty of attention, receiving over 8,000 hits on YouTube and was cited as a “stroke of genius” by Macleans magazine. She credited the work of her campaign team for her victory.

“I have no regrets for the campaign. I can’t describe how unbelievably hard my team worked,” Rowe said.

Singer: 2,616 votes

Finishing second in this year’s race was Ben Singer with 2,616 votes.

Singer, a third-year arts and humanities student and member of the Arts and Humanities Student Council, said he has no regrets with how he ran his campaign.

“Believe it or not, I’m more humble from the experience,” he added.

“Emily is going to do a fantastic job. There is no shame in losing to someone like her,” said Andrew Beach, who finished in third-place in this year’s election with 1,024 votes.

Beach added he was happy with the support he received from his campaign team.

Rounding out the bottom four candidates were Ashley Bushfield, Tabitha Navratil, Ryan Cassidy and Stephen Nelles, finishing with 809, 774, 259 and 31 votes, respectively.

Beach: 1,024

“We ran a tight campaign. We had integrity and stuck to our principles. I wouldn’t have run it any other way,” Bushfield said.

“I’m not really surprised. A lot of people were saying Emily was at the top and that’s what happens. I feel good for her,” Cassidy added.

“The best person won. The [students at the] university, they chose the person they want for the position.”

Nelles, despite not actively campaigning, chose not to drop out of the race and still garnered a handful of votes.

Voter turnout for this year was up from last year, with 9,470 students voting in the presidential election. Last year, 6,898 students voted.

Nick Hung, USC chief returning co-ordinator, attributed the increased turnout to the number of candidates in this year’s election.

Bushfield: 809 votes

“The turnout is huge and I think it comes down to having seven, really strong candidates,” he said.

Hung also attributed the increased turnout to the new voting system made available for students this year.

“I think the turnout was higher because voters no longer needed to use an outdated method of voting with PIN numbers,” he said.

Looking ahead to next year’s election, Hung hopes this year’s staggering turnout will inspire more students to partake in the voting process.

“People who weren’t enfranchised will vote now that they know it will count,” he said.

Navratil: 774 votes

University Community Centre referendum question
With 56 per cent of the vote, students did not approve the proposed University Community Centre renovation fee. Based on the outcome of the vote, the USC will have to develop another proposal to utilize the newly acquired space they have in the UCC.

“Over the past two years, the [USC] engaged in a dialogue with students regarding the future of their [UCC],” said USC President Stephen Lecce, spokesperson for the Yes Campaign during the campaign period.

“The message sent by students tonight is clear " they wish for that dialogue to continue.”

Matt Reid, senator and spokesperson for the No Campaign, said with the results of the vote, the USC must now find a way to utilize the space for students in a more cost-effective manner.

Cassidy: 259 votes

“Students have made a decision tonight that the proposed renovations were not meeting their needs. Students want meeting rooms and lounge space at an affordable cost,” Reid said.

“When one third of students are on [the Ontario Student Assistance Program], the USC must realize that the cost of any future renovations must be as low as possible,” he added.

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