Tarique Plummer wins president by majority vote

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Tarique Plummer has been elected as Wilfrid Laurier University’s Students’ Union president for the 2018-19 term.

Plummer was officially announced as president on Feb. 1 at the #LaurierVotes Results Night at Wilf’s.

Plummer claimed the position over Ali Saghari, Ryley Fletcher and Idris Omar Hassan with 52.35 per cent of the votes.

Despite four candidates in the running for president, the voter turnout was similar to last year’s turnout of approximately 22 per cent of the student body.

“I feel honoured that the student population choose me,” Plummer said.

“I feel grateful for all the opportunities that Laurier has given to me as an international student and being the first international student to be president of the Students’ Union to represent so many thousands of students is amazing.”

Ali Saghari, winning eight per cent of the overall vote, said he was confident in all his opponents’ abilities to lead the Students’ Union.

“I just hope that the actions that are going to be taken are going to be responsible and the Students’ Union continues to progress and improve like it has for years,” Saghari said.

“Getting students engaged in the Students’ Union was the early rewarding part of it. And yeah, if I could do it again maybe a cute dance video that Ryley did would have been a good idea … but I probably wouldn’t have done it better than him.”

For Idris Omar Hassan, who received six per cent of the overall vote, the election’s results also brought forth a feeling of confidence in his opponents.

“Overall I think I am very happy about the results … at the end of the day we did our best. We campaigned very well. Each one of us were reaching to hit that goal; one of us got it, we have to be happy and we have to celebrate it and that’s why I’m celebrating,” Hassan said.

Ryley Fletcher, who took home 33.48 per cent of the student vote with a total of 1259, was Plummer’s closest competitor in the race.

“It looks like the Laurier students voted, they really wanted him in. 52 per cent of them did,” he said.

Fletcher also noted the work of his campaign team who had supported him in the likes of flash mobs, dance videos and general visibility.

“I’m not saying that I ran the best campaign, it was 100 per cent my team. I literally couldn’t ask any more from them. I’ve gotten so many complements through all of the stuff that we went through throughout the last two-and-a-half weeks. I couldn’t be more impressed with them.”

Current Students’ Union president and CEO Kanwar Brar commented on the strength of each campaign team and commended each candidate for putting their name in the ring.

“Regardless [of voter turnout] all the campaign teams worked really hard. Even those who weren’t successful, I really want to congratulate them on the hard work they did. It takes a lot to put your name forward, having experienced that,” Brar said.

As for referendum questions, the orientation and transition fee received a 63.32 per cent vote in favour. As well, the Brantford faculty association fee received a 53.91 per cent vote in favour.

“It’s going to be a great transition for first-years into university and beyond. It’s reflective of the First 40 Days we’ve campaigned on all year; one of my pillars for my election,” Brar said.

“Regardless of where I am, a couple of years from now, it’s going to speak on the values and the transition first years are going to benefit from years down the road.”

Photo by Tanzeel Sayani

For Students’ Union board of directors, Adam Kovacs received the highest vote.

“Being in the first round was unexpected I’m over the moon right now I don’t know how to express it. It’s been a lot of work and I’m really excited to finally be able to work for the students,” Kovacs said.

“I made sure that I represented the students and I first thought about the students and really did research on how exactly the students can benefit and I made sure they were first always.”

Also voted on to the board of directors in round one were candidates Adam Beck, Owen Bourrie and Lana Toameh.

Other successful directors include Christopher Donnelly, Kawuki Jerome Lukwago, Kareem Elliot, Shukan Shah, Pirranavan Vigneswaran, Broudy Spourdalakis and acclaimed Brantford candidates, Osman Alwi and Sameed Hussain.

For Senate, Sameed Hussain was acclaimed as the only Brantford candidate. In addition, Keegan Pinto, Christopher Donnelly, Shukan Shah, Kyle Fritz and Philippe Blasi were voted in.

Klaudia Wojtanowski is the successful candidate for board of governors, receiving over half of the overall vote.

With regards to faculty associations, Alexandra Dickinson has been elected Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) external president and Shelby Dockendorff was elected as AUS internal president.

As well, Lindsay Walker was elected the Faculty of Music Students’ Association (FOMSA) vice president and Denise Fung was elected FOMSA external president.

Additionally, Alex Bronco was elected as president of the Faculty of Science Students’ Association (FOSSA).

Lastly, Emily Fraser was elected as president of LazSOC.

For next steps, president-elect Plummer said that he intends on starting the job first thing tomorrow and he will continue with hiring vice-presidents and getting ready for the new year within the next few weeks.

“For this success, I honestly give credit to students, the platform … was essentially created for the students wants, the desires and opinion of the students,” Plummer said.

“I give credit to my supporters and my volunteers. I give credit to all the students to help make the vision possible, I give credit to all the campus partners, I give credit to all the management teams of the Students’ Union who provided me with input as well, and I give credit to the elections team for such a great election period.”

With files from Erin Abe, Jake Watts, Nathalie Bouchard and Shyenne MacDonald.

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