Elevate UMSU sweeps executive ballot

Jakob Sanderson to succeed Tanjit Nagra as UMSU president

Elevate UMSU – anchored by Arts Student Body Council president Jakob Sanderson – has swept the 2018 UMSU executive election.

Sanderson beat out current UMSU VP finance and operations Jehan Moorthy’s Future UMSU slate and Mathew Scammell’s Two Brothers UMSU by taking slightly more than 45 per cent of ballots cast. 2,360 of the 5,616 ballots cast for president went to Sanderson. 1,518 went to Moorthy and 1,353 to Scammell. There were 385 abstentions.

Sanderson will lead the next UMSU executive along with Sarah Bonner-Proulx, VP advocacy; Owen Black, VP external; Mbuli Matshe, VP finance and operations; and Carly Mastromonaco, VP student services.

Bonner-Proulx took 61 per cent of votes cast to Future UMSU’s Athena Skarban’s 39 per cent. Black bettered Future UMSU’s Brooklynn Krul 60 per cent to 40. Matshe collected 58 per cent of ballots cast compared to Future UMSU’s Jonah Wasylak’s 42.

Mastromonaco won with 46 per cent of the vote over Two Brothers’ Sean Scammell, 27 per cent, and Future UMSU’s Brandon Barratt, 27 per cent.

Sanderson said his team is excited and ready to share their “fresh perspective” to the union’s membership, adding that he plans on ensuring it is one that is “as present as possible to all students.”

“I am excited for all of the things we are planning to do next year,” he said.

“Our term officially starts on May 1, but I cannot wait to be talking to students and hear exactly what they want from the next UMSU executive, find out why they elected us,” Sanderson said.

“And I want to talk to every single person who didn’t vote for us and find out why it is that they went the other way and find out what we can do to make sure that they feel included within our UMSU executive because we want to make sure we fight for every single student on this campus.”

VP student services-elect Mostromonaco called her team’s victory an “indescribable feeling” and said she looks forward to the transition process.

Two Brother’s UMSU presidential candidate Mathew Scammell lamented what he called a “problematic” voter-turnout.

“There has to be some kind of incentive for students to actually care about what’s going on,” he said.

Scammell said that with his graduation planned for October, and his current term as UMSU councillor representing Society of Earth Science and Environmental Studies coming to an end, he will continue to advocate for a transparent and effective student union.

“One of the largest elephants in the room about our union is that nobody really participates in it,” Scammell said.

Future UMSU declined to comment.

Alannah Mckay, Abubakar Ibrahim, and Eun-Bi Kang ran and were supported for the uncontested UMSU community representative positions of Indigenous students’ rep, international students’ rep, and LGBTTQ* students rep, respectively.

Overall campus voter participation was down slightly this year over 2017, with a total of 25 per cent voter participation and a total of 5,616 ballots cast. Participation spiked last year with more than 27 per cent participation and 6,247 total votes counted.

The campaign period was relatively quiet until this week when social media posts accused Future UMSU VP finance and operations candidate Wasylak of involvement in a racially-charged incident at the Hub Social Club in October.

Wasylak was among a group of five Bison men’s hockey players who were briefly banned from the Hub following an incident where two international students were allegedly attacked with racial slurs. An investigation found no proof of the slurs and the bans were later withdrawn. Moorthy commented on behalf of Wasylak and denied his involvement.

Five complaints were registered with the chief returning officer over the 12 day campaign period, all between the Elevate UMSU and Future UMSU slates. There were six complaints filed in 2017.