Photo Credit: SMCSU Facebook
A review and recap on the St. Mike’s student union 2020 spring elections
Chiara Greco, News Editor
The University of St. Michael’s College Student Union (SMCSU) general election has been finalized with voting results announced on March 14 across SMCSU’s social media. The electoral period took place from March 9 to 13. The positions open to election included: President, Vice-President (VP), VP Academic Affairs, VP Arts, VP Athletics, VP Communications, VP Community Life, VP Finance, VP Religious & Community Affairs, and University of Toronto Student Union (UTSU) St. Mike’s Director.
SMCSU 2020–21 election votes saw a total of 394 votes out of a potential of 4,844, a turnout of roughly 8%. Of these votes, it was reported that an estimated 20–25% were cast at in-person voting booths in both Brennan Hall and John M. Kelly Library.
The campaign period began with a record 22 candidates, yet many of them dropped out of the race for varying reasons. Further, in the election results release, it was noted that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic may have played a role in lower voter turnout — especially in regards to in-person voting.
Cianna Choo was announced as the 2020–21 SMCSU President with a majority of 229 votes. As stated on the SMCSU website, the President “oversees the implementation of [the SMCSU] Constitution, By-Laws, and Policies, as well as promoting and ensuring all USMC rules, regulations, and policies are upheld. They shall coordinate the development of an annual plan and programs with the Council.”
Nicholas Pagano was announced the 2020–21 SMCSU Vice-President with a majority of 247 votes. The Vice-President works internally to ensure that “the Council works effectively by maintaining the calendar of events for the Council and preparing meeting agendas and overseeing meeting procedures.” The Vice President also “supervises the implementation of and accordance with Council policies. The Vice-President shall chair the Constitution and Bylaws Review Committee annually and coordinate committee assignments in collaboration with the VPs.”
VP Arts and VP Athletics each had a running of two candidates. Keano Hourani was elected as VP Arts with a total of 205 votes majority, and his opponent received 149 votes, with the remainder of ballots spoiled. The position for VP Athletics saw a closer race with the elected candidate winning by a one-vote margin. Idara Okon, with 174 votes, was elected VP Athletics.
VP Academic Affairs, VP Communications, VP Community Life, VP Finance, and VP Religious & Community Affairs all only had one candidate running for each position. The results were as follows: Taylor Medeiros as VP Academic Affairs with 335 votes, Alessia DeBattista as VP Communications with 335 votes, Chiara Perry as VP Community Life with 341 votes, Roxanne Atindehou as VP Finance with 343 votes, and Maya Huber as VP Religious & Community Affairs with 329 votes.
The SMCSU election also held votes for the University of Toronto Students’ Union Directors for St. Michael’s College. There were three candidates for the position, with three offices available. As such, all three candidates were elected. Jonathan Hsu, Matthew Ho, and Yenan “Zoe” Chen were declared as the three officers.
The results of voter turnout follow in conjunction with the 2019 spring election, which also saw a small fragment of student involvement. Though in regards to this, voter participation has gone up since the 2019 spring election, which only saw 237 votes, compared to this year’s 394 total.
While election results were finalized earlier this month, students can expect full changes in SMCSU to occur during the 2020–21 academic year, when these elected candidates take office.