2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Graduate Students’ Association election results

By Hayden McBennett, March 12 2015 —

The Graduate Students’ Association elected their 2015–16 executive board on Wednesday, March 11. Only one of the positions was contested.

The two-candidate race for president ended Wednesday with Mike Webster taking the majority of the vote. He edged out opponent Arman Hemmati by 21 votes. Only 329 students voted, a turnout of 5.7 per cent.

Webster said he was glad the race was so close.

“I wish that more people voted. But considering that we haven’t had a race for president in a long time, it’s a good start. Hopefully we can do some things over the next year to encourage more competitors and voters,” Webster said.

All other executive positions were acclaimed. Danika MacDonald is the new vice-president student life and Blake Lewis acclaimed vice-president academic. Former Students’ Legislative Council speaker Sam Hossak acclaimed vice-president finance and services and Erica McLachlan will take over as vice-president external.

Only four GSA executive positions have been contested in the past four years. Two candidates in last year’s election dropped out the day before voting began.

The GSA represents 5,804 University of Calgary graduate students. However, they’ve traditionally had trouble getting students interested in their elections. Last year, only 258 students voted.

Current GSA president Sarah Akierman has some theories on why there is so little interest in the elections.

“When you’re elected into a Students’ Union position, you’re almost given a leave of absence from your studies, where you’re not really taking any courses. For a lot of reasons, that’s not possible while completing graduate studies, so people just aren’t as motivated,” Akierman said.

Online voting was held March 9–10 through D2L. There was no physical voting station.

“We don’t really have an area like MacHall where we can easily target graduate students,” Akierman said.


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