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Katie Larson elected SSMU President

All referendum questions pass

Correction appended March, 23

Katie Larson was elected as SSMU President for the 2013-14 academic year with 59.5 per cent against Chris Bangs’ 40.5 per cent Friday evening. Larson is the former president of the Music Undergraduate Students’ Association (MUSA) and the current faculty representative to SSMU Council.

The voter turnout for this year’s SSMU elections was 29.1 per cent.

Larson ran her campaign on initiatives to promote the health and wellness of McGill’s undergraduate community, and an effective representation of the student body. Regarding the election results, Larson said, “I am excited…. Everyone has been working very hard on their campaigns for the last few weeks.”

“I am so exhausted… but it probably means I [campaigned] right… and it paid off,” she continued.

Bangs, whose platform included the transparency of administrative investments, confronted controversy regarding his involvement in last year’s student strikes. He faced accusations of deleting questions regarding the disruption of an English class from his campaign Facebook page.

The position of VP Clubs & Services went to music student Stefan Fong with 88.5 per cent approval. He ran unopposed and received 11.5 per cent ‘No’ votes.

Joint Honours History and Political Science student Samuel Harris, who ran a platform on bridging the gap between McGill and the wider Montreal community, also won with 89.3 per cent approval. Though he was unopposed, he received 10.7 per cent of ‘No’ votes.

On the election results, Harris commented that he was content with the newly elected SSMU Executive team. “Of course, to be perfectly honest, I had had my preferences, but I am willing to work with whoever is [elected],” he added.

Harris, who has been an active follower of the Table de Concertation Étudiante du Québec (TaCEQ) discussions, looks to strengthen McGill’s ties with the Milton-Parc communities, and extend the inter-university discussions through workshops and new initiatives.

Political Science and Philosophy student Joey Shea claimed 52.1 per cent for the position of VP University Affairs, over International Development student Sam Gregory. Gregory, whose platform was similar to that of Shea, ran a close race with 47.9 per cent of the vote.

Current Arts Undergraduates’ Society (AUS) VP External Affairs Brian Farnan claimed the position for VP Internal with 51.8 per cent of the votes, beating fellow candidate Julia Kryluk by a slim margin of 3.6 per cent.

Economics and Finance student Tyler Hofmeister was elected as VP Finance and Operations with 71.7 per cent of the votes, beating Thomas Kim, who received 28.3 per cent of the vote. Coming into this position, Hofmeister will have to confront the prolonged problems of lease negotiations for the Shatner building and the impact on SSMU’s budget for the 2013 – 14 academic year.

“I am ecstatic,” Hofmeister said in his brief interview with The Daily.

“This is what I have been working really hard for the past two weeks…. I think this is going to be a great year. I’ve known Katie [Larson] and Brian [Farnan] for a long time…. It’s unfortunate that I won’t be working with Sam [Gregory] as much as I would have liked to, but I think this is going to be a great year and a great team,” he continued.

Referendum questions regarding the increase of the athletics fee and the student services ancillary fees passed and both fees will now be indexed to inflation. The questions regarding the creation of a McGill Writing Centre, the creation of a SSMU equity fund, and the SACOMSS fee renewal also passed.