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HAIL TO THE CHIEF: The “livid” but patriotic Matt Stambaugh, the first acclaimed SU President in seven years.
Kris Kotarski/The Gauntlet

SU President acclaimed

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A crowd gathered at the University of Calgary Students' Union office on Wed., Feb. 27 got quite a shock.

When nominations for the upcoming SU general election closed at noon, there was only one entry in the race for the presidency. As a result, current Operations and Finance Commissioner Matt Stambaugh was acclaimed the President of the 60th Students' Legislative Council.

When asked how he felt about the acclamation, Stambaugh could only say "livid."

"I had an excellent campaign ready," he said. "I wanted to run, I think I am a great candidate but I haven't had the chance to prove it."

"I'm absolutely floored," said current SU President Barb Wright. "An acclamation of the president, I don't know what that says. The selfish part of me is pleased because it means training gets to start two weeks earlier."

The acclamation is causing some students, including Stambaugh, to question the SU's electoral process.

"I do believe there should be a yes/no vote," he said. "My feeling is that there needs to be that safety net. I didn't have the chance to prove to students I'm the best person for the job."

Wright agreed the acclamation would have widespread ramifications.

"There are going to be questions of accountability associated with it from within the Students' Legislative Council, from the Gauntlet, from all sources of media and from students," she said. "It certainly doesn't do anything to increase voter turnout."

Although SU Vice-President Academic Nic Porco expressed confidence in Stambaugh's ability, he also believed the process is somewhat flawed.

"I think it's really unfortunate," said Porco. "I've seen acclamations before and I think you have a problem when you are acclaimed because you haven't had an election and your platform hasn't stood the test of an election."

Stambaugh is concerned an acclamation will limit the number of students who see his platform.

"That's why I'm still going to go through the motions of an election," said Stambaugh. "I'm not president until I prove to students I can do the job."

Along with the presidential acclamation, the race for Board of Governors representative also attracted unusual attention. For the third year in a row, Porco and U of C Liberal Association [[title??]] Bryndis Whitson will compete for the same position, this time that of BoG rep.

Although SU Vice-President Academic Nic Porco expressed confidence in Stambaugh's ability, he also believed the process is somewhat flawed.

"I think it's really unfortunate," said Porco. "I've seen acclamations before and I think you have a problem when you are acclaimed because you haven't had an election and your platform hasn't stood the test of an election."

Stambaugh is concerned an acclamation will limit the number of students who see his platform.

"That's why I'm still going to go through the motions of an election," said Stambaugh. "I'm not president until I prove to students I can do the job."

Along with the presidential acclamation, the race for Board of Governors representative also attracted unusual attention. For the third year in a row, Porco and U of C Liberal Association member Bryndis Whitson will compete for the same position, this time as BoG rep.

Election events debut on Wed., March 6 with the Events candidates forum at noon. The election will take place March 13-15 and will include voting on all contested SLC positions and five referendum questions. For more information, visit the SU Web site at su.ucalgary.ca.

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