13 new directors elected for Students’ Union board; two return
Out of the 16 candidates running for the 15 board of director positions in this year’s Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union elections, only 14 were announced on Thursday night.
The final spot was between Mohammad Ali Malik and Shawn Okum. It was announced Friday that Okum was elected to the board.
According to current chair and chief governance officer, Jordan Epstein, there was a malfunction with the new voting system the Students’ Union implemented.
Out of the 15 new directors, two were acclaimed from Brantford. These were Melody Parton and Nick DeSumma.
Matt McLean and Colin Aitchison were re-elected to the board of directors. While this was only their first year as directors, their re-election gives them a chance to bring experience to a very young board.
McLean mentioned during the campaign period he intends to seek the chair position on the board.
“It feels good,” McLean said of being re-elected. “It’s nice to have the opportunity to be able to continue what we did this past year and enhance it.”
Aitchison has expressed interest in the vice chair position.
“I just want to make sure the new board is transitioned as best they can and mentored as best as they can,” Aitchison said. “My whole plan is to revamp the vice chair portfolio so that it’s more than it currently is. Because right now, it’s just a director with a title.”
Rochelle Adamiak was one of the director-elects and is one of two females that will sit on the board.
“I’m so excited. I can’t believe I got this. It’s such a great opportunity and I feel so honoured,” she said.
Adamiak won the lead for director-elects with 445 first priority votes. She expressed her plans for her position next year.
“I want to hear more from the students. I felt, even during the campaign period, it was really hard to reach out because people don’t know enough.”
McLean also brought light to the low voter turnout at Laurier. With only 25.6 per cent of the Laurier student body voting, McLean said that it’s more than just a university issue.
“The voter turnout is low; that’s always unfortunate and it’s always a problem to get students engaged,” he said. “When you look at it democratically across the board, provincial turnout is low, so it seems to be a democratic thing. It needs to be addressed here at Laurier and in the country as a whole.”
With a low female turnout for this year’s election, Adamiak said she recognizes it, but doesn’t want it to be a burden on the incoming board of directors.
“I definitely want to see more involvement in the future, but for this year on this board, I just see myself as another person, a human being,” she said. “So I don’t think that should influence any decisions.”
Warren Trottier, another director-elect, said the biggest issue for him and the new board will be the transition into the position.
“We’ll work on leveling out the learning curve,” he said. “There is a lot to learn. I’m looking forward to working with everyone and getting to know the candidates personally. I like to know who I’m working with and I really cherish who I work with.”
-With files from Kate Turner