News //

Michael Rees elected USU President

Naaman Zhou and Alexandros Tsathas report

Wednesday evening’s USU executive elections played out as expected, with Independent Michael Rees becoming President in an uncontested ballot.

Atia Rahim (Student Unity) was elected Vice-President; Tiffany Alexander (Labor), Honorary Treasurer; and Shannen Potter (SLS), Honorary Secretary. All positions were similarly uncontested.

In his inaugural address, Rees declared he would work to “make international students feel more at home” during his tenure. He pledged to continue outgoing President Alisha Aitken-Radburn’s strengthening of alumni ties, and reaffirmed the USU’s commitment to identity programs.

Newly elected director Courtney Thompson (Grassroots) was elected to both the Wom*n’s and Queer Portfolio, and Koko Kong (Independent), who won a landslide victory in last month’s Board Election, was elected Deputy Chair of the Finance Committee.

The evening’s only contested position, Executive Chair of the Electoral Committee, was won by Grace Franki (Independent) over Vanessa Song (Unity). Franki plans to introduce multilingual electoral info for voters, make logos more visible on electronic ballots and reform the statutory declaration Board candidates must sign. Song didn’t leave empty-handed though, receiving the Ethnocultural portfolio.

Finally, Esther Shim (Independent) was elected Director of the USU’s Publications, and Marco Avena (Grassroots) was re-elected to the Environment Portfolio.

The evening’s proceedings were exceedingly efficient as a result of behind-the-scenes dealings. Traditionally powerful stupol factions NLS (Labor Left) and Grassroots have uncharacteristically been left with no representatives on the new USU executive.