Annual election draws impressive voter turnout
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
The DSU Representative Committee election drew to a close on March 4 after a week of polling and another week of intensive campaigning the week prior.
Ultimately, Action proved to be the successful slate, winning around two votes for every vote received by their opposition, NeXgen.
Action brought a variety of newcomers to DSU politics, with Jerzy Mazurek being the only member of last year’s committee to be re-elected. Three other members from the previous committee were also running for re-election; however, one was disqualified from the election while the other two candidates were defeated in their positions. This was the second election for Aran Armutlu, the recently elected Treasurer from Action, and his first victory.
“We had a couple experienced members on team Action, but mostly first timers,” said Armutlu. “We do our best to prepare and it showed during the election, but no matter how much you prepare for elections they are still one of the most difficult things you can do. Between the long hours and balancing classes and campaigning, it can be pretty stressful.”
The evening of March 4 was the culmination of weeks of hard work for Action. The slate provided good turnout for the all-candidate forums in the campaign week, and they could be found in the concourse of the New Westminster campus throughout both campaign and polling week.
Now elected, Action looks forward to an optimistic year in the DSU.
“The first thing will probably be planning,” explained Armutlu. “We feel as though it’s important to sit down and really map out the year, set goals, have some long term plans. We are not here to just think about our year and move on. We are planning to settle in a foundation of planning that will hopefully continue on for years.”
Action campaigned on promises of providing a variety of events for students of all ages, groups, and interests. These included social nights, more support for the athletics department, advocating for reduced costs to students, and promotion of Douglas clubs. They also campaigned on stronger support for the growing population of international students and advocated for increased transparency in the DSU.
“The DSU is a place that can foster student growth and excellence, and we want to see it reach that potential for years to come,” said Armutlu.
This was also an impressive election for voter turnout. Last year, only four per cent of students cast a ballot;This year, that number rose to 19.5 per cent.
Armutlu had this to say to voters: “Thank you! We appreciate you, more than you can imagine. Every vote matters because each vote was a student showing they believed in us and our vision of what the DSU can become. Over the past week we have been congratulated by many students and as much as we love hearing it, the congratulations is to you as well. You have actively engaged in a way to positively change things for yourself and other students and we are proud of you, humbled by all the support, and excited to take on the challenge!”
Full Election results.
College Relations Coordinator:
Monique Paulino– 1573 for, 303 against.
David Lam Representative:
Meredeth Graham– 1344
Chad Conley- 656
Aran Armutlu– 1304
Pardeep Jaswal- 651
Internal Relations Coordinator:
Jerzy Mazurek– 1281
Derek Goundar- 698
External Relations Coordinator:
Surya Viswanathan– 1310
Manuel Pena- 1343
Prabhjot Kaur Hundal -1290
Paul Wittayaworapat -1234
Taylor Hochban – 702
Mustafa Haq – 634
Sahara Tom– 1268
Alex Gibbons- 642
Tanysha Klassen– 1314
Jacquoline Martin- 667
Sterling Hillman– 1240
Simran Bir- 722
Iman Abdulla– 1283
Taylor Woodward- 653