The winners of the 2020 Students’ Union General Election were announced March 5 in The Den. A large crowd of students gathered at the campus pub to hear who would be at the helm of the SU next year. Tausif Syed and Ashley Teixeira, Chief Returning Officers, provided the results.
Frank Finley will be the next SU President, beating out Quinn Stevenson and Leam Dunn with 45 per cent of the vote.
“It’s a surreal feeling and I’ve realized that it’s a team effort to elect anybody — nobody does it on their own,” said Finley. “The first course of action that I’m going to take over the next month is sitting down with the students on this campus to better understand what they desire from us in terms of pushing back against post-secondary cuts and pushing back against a government that often doesn’t listen to student concerns. You have a one-year term and you have to be prepared to start as soon as you’re sworn in.”
The heavily-contested vice-president external race was won by Marley Gillies, who beat out Colson Buchanan with 54 per cent of the vote.
“I feel so good, I’m so, so excited,” said Gillies. “I’m so grateful.”
When asked what her plans are right away, Gillies stated, “celebrate, but to plan and do as much as I can — organize and meet everybody and get started this year.”
In a seven-candidate race, Fayo Abdi, Justin Gotta, Caitlin Hornbeck and Malika Qurishi were elected as Faculty of Arts representatives. Gotta received the largest share of the votes with 22 per cent.
“It’s a big victory for me this year compared to last year,” said Gotta. “I have a lot to live up to this year and I’m really looking forward to representing all the students who entrusted me with this.”
Hornbeck expressed her disbelief at being elected.
“I did not expect this whatsoever, I think nobody ever does,” she said. “But, I’m super happy and I’m so excited and I’m ready to get to work.”
Qurishi also expressed her excitement.
“I look forward to working with the other Arts representatives. It’s a great opportunity, and I’ll put all my heart into representing students.”
The Cumming School of Medicine race was a large field, with five students vying for the role. Pranav Khosla and Jasleen Brar will represent the faculty in the next academic year.
The Faculty of Engineering elected Juan Sanchez and Bharat Uppal, with 43 and 39 per cent of the vote, respectively.
“I am feeling great,” said Sanchez. “I’m really happy the student body rallied behind a candidate that is going to fight for them and I really hope that I can do a good job.”
In the Faculty of Science, incumbent candidate Manpreet Sahota was re-elected with 28 per cent of the vote. Chaten Jessel and Pragya Chopra were also elected as representatives.
Aly Samji received the majority of the votes from the Haskayne School of Business, earning himself 46 per cent, while Shagufta Farheen was also elected.
Jonah Feng won the race in the Faculty of Nursing with a whopping 77 per cent of the vote.
Semhar Abraha also decisively won her race, taking 76 per cent of the votes to become the next vice-president academic.
Assad Ali Bik received 43 per cent of the vote in the vice-president student life race, having run once before in 2018 and coming up short.
“Anything is possible!” shouted Bik. “There’s no trick — this is pure magic. You can’t succeed unless you’re willing to fail. I’ve been there, I’ve failed and it hurts. But you’ve gotta do it one more time — go back to the lab, go back to the drawing board, figure out what you did wrong, be humble enough to figure it out and come back better and stronger.”
Several candidates ran unopposed, leading to acclamations. Mohammad Ali will be next year’s vice-president operations and finance. He is this election’s only acclaimed executive.
Deyana Altahsh will represent the Faculty of Kinesiology and Dalal Souraya will spend a second term as representative for the Faculty of Law. Two other faculty representatives were also acclaimed — Douglas Doyle-Baker and Naomi Shaw for the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Werklund School of Education, respectively.
More information is available on the SU’s website.