Tight governors race
On Friday night, Saad Aslam won his re-election to the board of governors (BOG) for the 2011-13 term in a tight race against Ted Brown and Tom Papanastasiou, both members of the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) board of directors.
The final results show Aslam with 39 per cent or 1,653 votes, Brown with 32 per cent or 1,387 votes and Papanastasiou at 29 per cent with 1,220 votes.
Aslam attributes his success to past experience in both WLUSU and the BOG. “I really tried to focus on my experience, especially with the other two candidates I was running against who were relatively inexperienced,” said Aslam after the announcement.
“A lot of my friends who have known me for the past five years know what I’ve done for students and I tried to put that out there.”
Brown echoed these comments, crediting Aslam’s success to his experience, saying that “the big thing that would have been the deciding factor for me had I not been voting for myself was that Saad has the experience being on the board of governors.”
Although Brown made it a relatively close contest, eyebrows were raised when he did not attend Open Forum. He had an appointment and an assignment due that day, but credits it as a reason for his message not reaching students.
“People know who I am, but if other new people who are interested don’t see me out there and see the other guys that looks really good on them and really bad on me,” explained Brown. “Going to Open Forum would have been a good idea.”
Aslam also regrets not being able to put more time into the campaign between school and his work with the students’ union, but believes his buttons were effective in getting his name out there.
“I heard from a lot of students that the buttons were great. I got requests from students I didn’t even know for the buttons. I put all my money in that. Posters are too passé, so I tried to put a face to my campaign by having my supporters out there with them,” said Aslam.
At the end of this student election cycle Aslam sees gains being made towards student engagement that can help him with his job on the BOG by hearing student concerns.
“The online voting and having four top-notch candidates really pushed turnout and started a dialogue and I hope that continues throughout the year. I hate it when it only happens at election time,” he said.
With a second election under his belt Aslam looks forward to advancing student interests. Specifically, he identified the problems associated with tremendous enrolment growth, including increased tuition and the larger class sizes that are plaguing Laurier.
In all, he wants to “push for the best experience for Laurier students possible.”