Constantinescu elected WLUSU president
After nearly two solid weeks of campaigning, Tuesday night the results from the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union elections were announced at Wilf’s with Annie Constantinescu being elected as the next president and CEO of WLUSU. Constantinescu picked up 36.29 per cent of the votes in her favour. Chris Walker came in second place, followed by Caleb Okwubido, Dani Saad and Jennifer Taborowski.
Walker picked up 23.30 per cent of the vote, while Okwubido garnered 19.19, Saad 13.78 and Taborowski 7.46.
After Wilf’s erupted in cheers following the announcements, Constantinescu popped a bottle of champagne and then shared her reactions with The Cord.
“I want to say, first of all, that I was very, very nervous going into it,” she said.
“It was one of those elections where you didn’t really know what the results were going to be, but I had faith in my team, I had faith in the platform that everyone kind of contributed to, and I’m just so happy and just so proud of the results because I know a lot of work went into it; we worked hard and that’s where we are right now.”
“[My first reaction] literally was ‘oh my God, oh my God,’” she continued. “And I fell completely back into my team [with] just sheer happiness.”
After winning a close race, Constantinescu expressed gratitude and thanks to her campaign team for helping her win the election.
“If it wasn’t for my team and their amazing, unfaltering support, I wouldn’t have in any way shape or form been able to accomplish what I’ve done in the past 13 days and be where I am right now,” she said. “They are the most inspirational people because they came into this not really sure what to expect but gave it their all every single day, and again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to them.”
As for her opposing candidates, Constantinescu continued to show them support even after the results were given. She expressed her gratitude for everyone running a clean campaign, and for the challenges that they presented to her at both the open forums and debate.
Going forward after being elected, Constantinescu will focus on how to properly plan out the execution of her platform in a realistic manner, and figure out how next year will realistically play out. She is also beginning to prepare for the hiring processes that will start in the upcoming weeks, and expressed her excitement towards beginning her position of president and CEO.
“I think the first goals I want to really ensure is my presence on campus from this past week hasn’t really changed, so by going up to every single person that I’ve more or less met and connecting, and just thank them because it’s because of them that I am where I am,” she said.
Walker, who placed second, was obviously upset he didn’t win, but still showed respect towards Constantinescu.
“I thought I put forward a really good platform that was pretty applicable, especially the experience that I have,” he said. “But ultimately the students of Laurier decided to go in a different direction and that’s fine. I think Annie will do a great job and she certainly brings something different to the role.”
As for his campaign, Walker felt that he lacked proper outreach to students. At the end of the day, however, he recognized that it is evidently up to the students to vote for what they want.
“I really like my platform, but at the end of the day it’s up to the vote,” he said.
As for the upcoming year, he plans on continuing some of his involvement within WLUSU, but also wants to take a step back.
“I’ll still be in senate next year so I’ll still have an advocacy role, but at the same time I’ll be taking a step back from the Students’ Union because I think the chapter in my Students’ Union life is closed; the fact is that I’ll move in other ways,” Walker concluded.
Saad, who came in fourth place, still maintained a positive attitude after the results were announced.
“I feel good,” he said. “I’m happy for Annie, it’s awesome.”
As for his campaign, he still felt that it was executed well, and that he and his team did everything within their power.
“At the beginning of this, I never expected to get this much attention for it, so I’m entirely happy with how it went, really happy,” he added
As for the future, Saad will continue to be involved with the school in some capacity.
“I’m going to be here. I want to get involved in some way,” he said. “I don’t know about the Union, but involved in the school in some capacity.”
Okwubido declined to make any comment to The Cord after the results were announced; while Taborowski was at the Brantford campus to celebrate with her campaign team and was thus unavailable for comment.