Record breaking voter turnout elects 2016/2017 BUSU executives

A record-breaking 28.6 per cent of the student population voted in this year’s elections for the BUSU executives and Board of Directors, equaling a total number of 4685 votes.

The new president of the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) next year is Patrick Foster. Foster was elected to the position with a total 67.2 per cent of votes over Spencer Dawson.

“Tonight we won. That’s it,” said Foster in a statement.

For the race of Vice President of Student Services (VPSS), 67.4 per cent of the votes were in favour of Jad Nasser over Chip McCrimmon.

“I have no words right now,” said Nasser. “I just called my mom and now I’m going to call my dad and then celebrate with my friends.”

The results for the Vice President of External Affairs (VPEA) race was much closer however, as four candidates vied for the position. The winning candidate is Julia Wood, who received 40 per cent of the votes. In second place came Olivier Kayitaba, the third runner-up was Antonio Sergi and the final candidate was Calvin Eady.

“I have a lot of respect for all the candidates in the race,” said Wood. “I’m excited to represent Brock students and hope that this will encourage more women to get involved.”

Faisal Hejazi, the sole candidate for the position of Vice President of Finance and Administration (VPFA), was acclaimed to the position with 95.3 per cent of the votes saying “yes”.

“I want to thank my friends and family for their support during this campaign. I wouldn’t have run without that backbone,” said Hejazi. “I look forward to working with the new executives next year.”

For the Board of Directors, Alyssa Berardocco won the one-year term seat with 78.5. per cent of the population, the highest percentage of all the candidates. The second runner-up was Mustafa Ali Rashid and third runner-up was Brandon Haidon. The two-year term seat was won by Aidan Hibma with 57.2 per cent of the votes, just slightly ahead of Jonah Graham.

“I’m really happy to move forward and to build a better Brock,” said Berardocco.

“I feel a lot better than last year. Last year got me a lot more involved and a lot more concentrated with the political side of the school and it gave me a great idea for how to interact with students,” said Hibma, “I’m very confident with everyone who won, and looking forward to working with them.”

This year’s total voter turnout of 28.6 per cent is just slightly ahead of last year’s 28.4 per cent. However, although the percentage is greater, last year’s total number of votes of 5,160 is slightly higher than this year’s 4,685 votes.

The announcement of the winners wraps up the two weeks of election campaigning. Despite the higher percentage of voter turnout compared to last year, the overall election period showed less involvement on the part of the candidates. The candidate period started off rather slowly and some candidates seemed to enter into it not fully prepared.

Kelsey Craig, a current Board of the Director member, also commented on the involvement on a more personal level of some of the candidates, which took away from the spirit of the campaigns.

“From my perspective, there’s been a large integration of the personal and the political, which is also reflected in the passion of the campaigns,” said Craig.

The newly elected executives and Board of Director members will officially start their terms on May 1. Until then, they will go through a training and transition period to prepare them for their new roles.

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