And the machine keeps rolling

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By Eyeopener Staff

The RSU elections were exciting for about 10 minutes.

It seemed like there was potential for change this year, at least before the results were in on Feb. 11. So it was just like every year. The Students United slate, the latest reincarnation of the Renew RSU and Undivided slates of elections past, swept all executive positions.

Toby Whitfield won president with 1,457 votes, Liana Salvador will return to her current position of vice-president education after getting 2,255 votes, Caitlin Smith secured vice-president finance and services with 1,630 votes and Sean Carson won vice-president student life with 1,525 votes.

Rodney Diverlus ran unopposed for the new position of vice-president equity, which gave students a ballot with a YES/NO choice. More than 3,000 students voted in the election, with 31 per cent saying no to Diverlus. There were also 190 spoiled vice-president equity ballots. The vote was ultimately swayed by the results from the engineering building, which were the second-to-last to come in that evening. Until then, the LEAD slate’s executive candidates were only about 100 votes behind the Students United canidates.

All Students United faculty director candidates won spots on the board of directors except for the faculty of business, where none of their candidates were elected.

According to presidential candidate Sherif Ell Tawil, he was disqualified on Feb. 10 for accumulating enough disciplinary points to kick him out of the election.

He said was penalized for covering up Whitfield’s campaign posters in a photo that appeared in the Eyeopener, taking down Students United posters and giving out false information.

The results were posted at the Ram in the Rye until the pub closed at about 2 a.m., but ballot counting lasted for at least another hour. Like most years, there were grumblings about unfair elections.

But low voter turnout is probably the reason for the lack of variety in RSU executives. While it’s mainly the cronies of the likely suspects that are voting, they’ll keep getting elected unless more students decide to get engaged.

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