News | Josh Redel elected SSMU President by 0.4 per cent

CKUT referendum to be non-opt-outable fails

Josh Redel, current president of the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS), was elected SSMU President by 0.4 per cent of the vote last night. Redel edged out his only opposing candidate, current SSMU VP Finance and Operations Shyam Patel, by a slim margin of about 24 votes.

The referendum question seeking to make campus-community radio station CKUT non-opt-outable was voted down with 42 per cent of the vote.

Anniessa Antar, co-chair of the CKUT Yes Committee, told The Daily she was “disappointed” by the results of the question.

“I’m really interested to know how this word spread out that CKUT is no longer a viable thing. I am actually so confused as to why nothing was said when we made the information available,” said Antar.

CKUT says the volume of online opt-outs in recent years endangers its existence. Tim Beeler, who was elected as one of the undergraduate representatives to the CKUT Board of Directors (BoD), spoke to The Daily about the consequences of the result.

“My position now goes from worrying about what a radio station should be doing, like planning stuff for students and enriching campus environment, and it’s just once again going to be about trying to keep the station alive and breathing,” said Beeler.

“It’s gotten to a point where the reason we ran these two questions is because the station cannot cut anything else out of its budget; we cannot lose another staff member,” he added.

Current SSMU VP Clubs and Services Carol Fraser was elected as the second undergraduate representative to the CKUT BoD.

“I really didn’t see that coming, there was nothing in the press as far as I know that was in opposition, there was no ‘no’ committee and it came out of nowhere,” she said.

Current Senator for Religious Studies Haley Dinel was elected VP University Affairs with 33.8 per cent of the vote, beating out fellow student senators Matt Crawford and Emil Briones, who received 23.5 and 13.7 per cent of the vote, respectively.

“I think we are going to have a lot of challenges, and the big thing for me will be uniting student voices and giving back to the community,” said Dinel following the results.

The VP Clubs and Services (C&S) position went to Allison Cooper, who received 46.5 per cent of the vote compared to 24.3 per cent obtained by current C&S councillor Sahil Chaini.

Robin Reid-Fraser will be the SSMU VP External next year after receiving 37.8 per cent of the vote. Her opponent Raphael Uribe Arango, current VP External for the Inter-Residence Council, got 24.8 per cent.

Reid-Fraser said she was surprised by the number of people who chose “no opinion” in the vote for VP External – 37.4 per cent.

“I am going to do the best that I possibly can, and I will be looking for input from all kinds of people,” said Reid-Fraser.

Michael Spzejda won VP Internal with 18 per cent of votes – 24.1 per cent voted “no opinion” – and JP Briggs will be the VP Finance and Operations after obtaining 37 per cent of the vote.

Redel told The Daily he was “happy and proud of the support received” after the results were announced.

“I think that next year we have the opportunity to work with the campus that’s fallen apart a bit, and I’m really excited to work hard as hell to bring it back together,” said Redel.

“It’s a very diverse group of people – it will certainly be a challenge to get diverse opinions and backgrounds to work together, but we have a great team,” he added.

Patel said the narrow margin in the presidential election “shows that we’re both qualified, and either of us would do a great job, and I think Josh will be great.”

Maggie Knight, current SSMU President, also commented on the challenges for next year.

“Next year’s exec is a very different political composition from this year, so we’ll see how that shifts and how that changes things,” said Knight.

“Hopefully it’s all on people’s recent minds what a negative effect it has in the society when an exec becomes so divided that it is dysfunctional, so everyone will be committed to working together,” she added.


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