SU by-election results

By Chris Beauchamp

Five new members were elected to the Student’s Union.

Unofficial SU by-election results were announced Fri., Oct. 24. Birju Dattani and Kassim Amery were elected as Academic Commissioners. Janet Downie won the position of Fine Arts Faculty Representative, Jennifer Brause won Social Work Faculty Representative and Heidi Olson won Kinesiology Faculty Representative.

Voter turnout was higher this year than in past few years with a total of 947 ballots cast. About 30 votes were cast in last year’s by-election.

Dattani and Amery ran together and built their campaign around increased student input and accessibility to the SU.

“I’ve been here four years now and the way I feel [the SU] has dealt with me, I’ve been intimidated,” said Dattani. “It shouldn’t be a popularity contest, it should be about the issues.”

Dattani promotes the formation of ad-hoc committees to get students more actively involved in the decision making process of the SU.

“The idea would be to approach people who have that interest and say ‘hey, you can get involved,’” said Dattani. “I mean, you ask the token student their opinion, but I don’t think that has an impact like when you get them to roll up their sleeves and get involved.”

Dattani and Amery also plan to increase awareness about SU programs offered to undergraduates.

“I can make myself open to students if they have any issues,” said Amery. “We’ve got vast amounts of resources for students. We’ll try to spread the word around that these services are available.”

Downie pledges to create awareness for the plight of her faculty in the face of continued budget cuts.

“The departments need to start uniting,” said Downie. “We need to come together as a faculty. In five years there will not be Fine Arts programs here.”

Brause sees her role as Social Work Representative as reconnecting her faculty to the university as a whole.

“For myself, [the campaign] was very grassroots because we’re such a small faculty,” she said. “Everybody knows everybody else.”

Olsen was not present at the announcement.

Any appeals to the election review board must be filed by Fri., Oct. 31 by 4:30 p.m. Contact Chief Returning Officer Shuvaloy Majumdar at or 220-7771 with any questions.