Patrick Panet-Raymond to serve as Vice-President Academic
Annie Sirois has been elected as the 2017-18 Students’ Union President. Winning with 65% of the popular vote, Sirois, a third year Political Science major, has been involved with the Students’ Union since her first year and was the favourite to win.
Patrick Panet-Raymond, a third year Human Kinetics students, will serve as Vice-President Academic. Pulling ahead of Tiffany MacLennan (29%) and Rob Haswell (22%), Panet-Raymond won with 41% of the total vote.
8% of votes for vice-president were spoiled, as well as 10% of votes for president.
Results were announced by Chair of Council Brandon Hamilton and Jessica Fullerton, a returning officer, at the Golden X Inn. While the official voter turnout has yet to be confirmed, it is projected that this year’s election witnessed almost a 10% increase in voter turnout. Preliminary estimates put voter turnout at around 26%, a considerable increase from last year’s 17.3% turnout.
“This has been two and a half years in the making,” said Sirois at the Inn, “but it really wasn’t a personal victory, it was a Students’ Union and a students-at-large victory.” Sirois thanked all students who voted and expressed her excitement to work with Panet-Raymond in the year to come.
Panet-Raymond, whose platform centered on mental health awareness and the Bringing in the Bystander program, also thanked students for his election and expressed his delight with the increase in voter turnout. “Getting out the vote is very important,” he declared. “I greatly appreciate it.”
Nick Carpenter, Students’ Union Communications and Marketing Manager, attributes the increase in voter turnout to the facilitated ease of voting. This year’s voting platform was mobile friendly and could be done in a matter of seconds, whereas in the past the website has been difficult to use on a cell phone.
The marketing team hit campus the night before voting began with a “white-out campaign” of 300 posters with a series of taglines encouraging students to vote. The team also strategically posted the Facebook event the night before to generate immediate buzz, says Carpenter.
“I think the fact that students could do it in ten seconds without a hassle was the biggest success,” said Carpenter, who described voter turnout as ‘fantastic’.
This announcement marks the end of an exciting election period. Taylor Chase, outgoing Students’ Union president, was delighted with the campus-wide interest in this year’s presidential race between Sirois and competitor Phillip Elzein. “Where was the excitement in last year’s election? It wasn’t there,” he stated, having run unopposed this time last year. “This election had flair.”