The UNBSU general election may be over, but due to technical errors the online ballots, voting for the board of governors positions has been extended until March 14.
Technical errors aside, the election brought in a voter turnout of 17.7 per cent – a 0.2 per cent drop from last year. Current UNBSU president Ben Whitney said the voter turnout results were expected due to the voting period falling over the March break.
“I would’ve liked it to be higher but with the voting period taking place right now we expected it could be a bit lower. All in all it’s not a bad turnout and we’re looking forward to working with the new exec members.”
Current UNBSU vice-president external Greg Bailey was elected next year’s president. Though he ran uncontested, he’s grateful for the win.
“I’m just happy that I have the chance to stick around and apply all of the lessons I learned this year,” Bailey said.
“Probably the thing I enjoyed most about being VP external was interacting with other student organizations and seeing how they do things differently; I’d like to spend the next year trying to implement them.”
Lee Thomas, who also ran uncontested, was elected vice-president internal. Nicole Saulnier won over Stephen Likely for vice-president external. William MacMackin beat Justin Lee for vice-president finance and operations and Elizabeth Teague was elected vice-president student services over Kasra Tamjidi.
Bailey said he was encouraged by the “calibre of candidates” this year, and looks forward to working with the new executive.
“Being on the executive is a time-consuming job. It takes up more of your life than other jobs,” Bailey said. “I’m glad to see that the people who ran took the job seriously, and I think we’ve got a good year ahead.”
Though the voter turnout was lower proportionately due to high enrollment, there were actually more ballots cast this election than last. He said the UNBSU needs to try a new approach for next year.
“Looking at the demographics, the three faculties with the voting percentages above 10 per cent were Renaissance College, kin and science,” Bailey said.
“I think we need to start tailoring our approach by looking at how we could can get the other faculties interested in what’s going on. It’s not about more communications, which is the most overused election promise ever, it’s about communicating a message that actually sticks.”
With files from Emma McPhee