On March 11, after the last polling station on campus closed, the last ballot was counted and the results tallied, a new UMSU slate was chosen to represent students: Working Together.
The slate won the election with a combined total preliminary vote count of 53 per cent.
Working Together is comprised of Julie Rempel, vice-president (external), Justin Quigley, vice-president (internal), Nour Rashid, vice-president (advocacy), and is helmed by president Camilla Tapp. Incumbent vice-president (student services) Matt Hepner is also a member of the new UMSU executive and will return next year to reprise his role as vice-president (student services).
“Justin, Matt, Nour, Julie and I are elated at the outcome of the 2011 UMSU election. We have each made sacrifices for this experience, and we have all worked hard to convey our message, so it is rewarding to see that students got out and voted,” said Tapp.
Tapp also thanked the candidates from Clean Slate and Get More.
“The quantity and quality of conversations that were created due to the differences in each slate was astounding and displayed many student concerns.”
Tapp also thanked everyone involved in the election, from candidates to volunteers with campaign managers in between, and the students who voted, “especially those who asked the hard questions.”
Tapp and her slate are excited to begin their transition into office and noted that some of the issues they plan to tackle include improving student spaces across campus, establishing a student-owned-and-operated pub and increasing communication between faculties, student groups, UMSU council and the executives.
Tyler Omichinski, who ran as presidential candidate for Clean Slate, wished the new UMSU executive the best of luck in their positions.
Omichinski thanked all the volunteers and students who were involved, and also voters who “had to put up with the flood of posters and people running around campus trying to get votes.”
“While I’m not speaking for the rest of my team, I do know that this was something I am really glad to have tried, and it was a great learning experience [ . . . ],” said Omichinski, though he said he did not intend to run for UMSU again.
Delaney Coelho, the presidential candidate from Get More, also congratulated Working Together.
“I hope [they] can come through on all of [their] campaign promises and represent the student body well,” she said.
Coelho said that currently she and her slate have no plans of running again next year, but that anything could change in a year.
Chantal Shivanna Ramraj, who ran for vice-president (external) as an independent candidate, said that she was happy with the results.
“I think Working Together is a great group of people and I am very comfortable knowing that they will be running UMSU,” she said.
Ramraj is not sure yet if she will ran again in next year’s election, but felt that her eyes had been opened to a lot of issues when it comes to tuition fees and education funding, and so she isn’t ruling it out.
“I am very grateful for everyone that voted for me as an independent. Considering those votes and my status as an independent, I do not think that I am alone in the way I feel,” said Ramraj, discussing potential reasons why she might run again.
Ramraj hopes that Working Together will educate students on common interest issues, such how unfair tuition fees are, and feels such education and communication will foster an interest in students for UMSU, leading to a better voter turnout in the future.