The Mount Allison Students’ Union (MASU) executive election has concluded.
In May, Heather Webster will assume the office of president; Kyle Nimmrichter that of vice-president, academic affairs; Annie Sherry that of vice-president, external affairs and Andrew Johnston that of vice-president, campus life. A vice-president, finance and operations and a vice-president, communications are to be hired to fill the two remaining executive positions.
As of press time, confusion surrounds the 7 Mondays referendum, asking for a three-dollar levy to support operations. The MASU email sent at 9:43 pm on Jan. 28 indicated that the referendum failed to pass, only garnering 64.8 per cent of votes in favour, failing to reach a two-thirds majority. MASU Chief Returning Officer Erika Maxwell said that she and Vice-President, Finance and Operations Josh Outerbridge needed to consult the constitution as they were uncertain if the referendum needed the two-thirds majority or a simple majority of fifty per cent plus one.
Karissa LaRocque, the president of 7 Mondays, indicated at 10:30 pm that Maxwell contacted her before the results were released, informing her that the referendum had failed to pass. Speaking to The Argosy, LaRocque said, “What I am trying to figure out now is do we fall under a constitutional change, or do we fall under all other questions? Are we a part of the constitution of the MASU? I asked Erika what she thought, and she said ‘I’m not sure, I’m looking into it.”
Voter turnout, sitting at thirty-nine per cent, was similar to last year, despite concern that students would neglect voting because of the strike. Last year 43.4 per cent of students turned out for the various votes. 970 students voted, either online or at a polling station on campus. 39.6 per cent of students voted for the position of president, thirty-nine per cent for the position of vice-president, academic affairs, 39.2 per cent for vice-president, campus life, 39.3 per cent for vice-president, external affairs, and 38.2 per cent for the referendum.
MASU President Melissa O’Rourke said a lower turnout was expected: “Given the circumstances with the strike, I don’t think it is something that is particularly surprising.” O’Rourke continued, saying, ”It is important to keep in mind that this is still one of the highest in the country. A lot of unions are happy when they get seven per cent of voters out.”
Webster, the current MASU vice-president, campus life, ran unopposed and was elected with ninety-one per cent ‘yes’ votes of votes cast. Webster said she was “thrilled to work for the students again next year [and] excited to start planning.” She continued that she was also excited to work with the other winners, saying, “I think there is a lot to learn for all of us, but once that has happened we will be a great team.”
Nimmrichter, a current MASU arts senator ran against Agamemnon Kattis for the position of vice president, academic affairs. Nimmrichter received seventy-seven per cent of votes cast, and Kattis twenty-three per cent. Nimmrichter praised the other winners, saying, “It will be an honour, a privilege, and a pleasure to work with such an experienced and knowledgeable team.”
Johnston, the current house president of Hunton, ran against Curtis Gibbs for the position of vice-president, campus life. Johnston received sixty-seven per cent of votes cast, and Gibbs received thirty-three per cent.
Sherry, a current MASU social sciences senator, ran against Noah Entwisle, Rayan Bouhlel, and Zhanshou Ma for the position of vice president, external affairs. Sherry received 50.2 per cent of the vote, Entwisle 27.7 per cent, Bouhlel 11.8 per cent, and Ma 10.3 per cent. She called her success a “privilege,” saying “to have our students’ trust is so important to me, and I am excited on many levels to start working for them.”