News
Launch Slideshow
Barski.
Adam Berti/the Gauntlet

West victorious as president

Publication YearIssue Date 

A MacEwan Student Centre meeting room erupted in cheers Fri., Feb. 13 as Bryan West was named Students' Union President for the coming year.

Chief Returning Officer Shuvaloy Majumdar left the results of the presidential race until last, slowly reading off the names and totals of the bottom four candidates as they scrolled down a screen. With only West and Phil Barski of Barski's Cabinet remaining, Majumdar revealed both names to show West on top with 1,669 votes. Barski finished a close second with 1,460 votes.

"I feel fantastic. Honestly that was amazing," said West, shortly after Vice-President Operations and Finance candidate Ian Smedley smothered him with a celebratory pie. "It could have been anyone's game out there, that's what I honestly thought. So when I came in here, I was in the 'prepare yourself for a win, prepare yourself for a loss' mentality."

Barski, both the face and name of Barski's Cabinet, was visibly upset when the results were handed down, shaking a couple hands and walking out.

"It was a good race and I guess the best man won," said Barski shortly after, also offering an explanation for the loss. "Unfortunately students didn't see the work we put into this. They didn't see the organization. They judged us before we started, and that's the students' loss."

Action Party leader Andrew Simon finished third with 810 votes, while Sonja Bloomer with 515 votes, current Academic Commissioner Chris Ng with 452 votes and Michael Soron with 441 votes rounded out the six candidates.

This year's presidential race, with two candidates leading entire slates of contenders, was arguably more vicious than in previous years. This could be seen at the Mon. Feb. 9 presidential forums and in the anti-slate and anti-Barski's Cabinet campaign headed by current Vice-President Operations and Finance Gavin Preston under the banner of the four referendum campaigns he was leading.

When asked about the heated election, Barski criticized the Gauntlet.

"I think the Gauntlet's a bunch of gutless fucks," he said. "They hide behind a pen and none of them will ever amount to anything. Students are influenced by the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet's supposed to be impartial. Unfortunately, in this situation, it wasn't."

West agreed the campaigns were especially acrimonious this year, but said this wasn't unexpected.

"There was so much competition," West explained. "Everyone was running such hard campaigns, emotions ran so high. We all suffered attacks and slander, and we all suffered posters being torn down, but it comes with the territory I think. With an election like this, it's bound to happen."

West is already looking ahead to next year, even though he doesn't take office until May 1. He was optimistic, saying the key to a successful term as president, especially with five members of Barski's Cabinet on council, will be to open the lines of communication right away.

"It looks like a pretty good team," said West. "Most of those people I supported. There were quite a few people from Barski's Cabinet that did get onto council, and that's something we're going to have to deal with right off the bat. If we're going to be productive next year and get things done, we really have to be on the same page."

Soron said while he was disappointed with his loss, he was satisfied with who took the president's seat.

"I'm happy that things turned out the way they did," Soron said. "I'm pleased with Bryan and I think he can do a good job."

He also addressed Barski's loss, suggesting strategic voting against Barski may have contributed to his loss

"I'm glad Barski didn't win," said Soron. "A lot of people said West was the best chance at beating Barski. If push came to shove and it was me versus West, I think I would have had a good shot."

Bloomer was also happy with the results, but criticized the campaigns.

"I was a little disappointed with it," said Bloomer. "If we're looking out for students' best interests, we should've been a little bit better to the other candidates. Some issues weren't addressed that could have been addressed without the arguing."

Both Ng and Simon could not be reached for comment.

Tags: 

Section: 

Issue: 

Comments

I'm not convinced the people at the Gauntlet qualify, but to answer Toby's question I believe one must be a "fuck" to "hide a pen".

The Gauntlet is useless. I agree with Barski. They are supposed to be impartial, they were not, and spoiled an election for someone who worked so hard. WOW now that the election is over, the Gauntlet FINALLY got a quote right out of Barski, and to no surprise they're trying to cover their own ass by badmouthing Barski.

To the people who think the Gauntlet is supposed to be 100% impartial: learn what an editorial is. News is impartial, while editorials are not.

ed∑i∑to∑ri∑al -†n.
1. An article in a publication expressing the opinion of its editors or publishers.

A news writer covering an event would write,"Person A said, 'The people at the Gauntlet suck.'"

An editorial writer writing about the same even would write, "Person A lacks class because he/she said, 'The people at the Gauntlet suck.'"

The news writer is impartial towards person A, but the editorial writer is not.

"A man may fall many times but he won't be a failure until he says someone pushed him."

-Elmer G. Letterman

Let's get it straight. News is impartial. Also, we try very hard to remain impartial and unbiased in our news stories. Anything that would denotate or connotate bias is removed by myself and Lawrence.

As for "the Gauntlet FINALLY got a quote right out of Barski," I suggest looking at stories http://gauntlet.ucalgary.ca/story/1847 and
http://gauntlet.ucalgary.ca/supplements/19/index.php?sid=9488. There are straight quotes from Mr. Barski there.

Finally, nowhere in this story or our other election coverage in the news section, do we "badmouth Barski."

Sincerely,
Natalie Sit
News Editor

I'll just reinforce what's already been said.

Unfortunately, some people fail to realize the difference between editorial/opinion and news. The SU Candidate Reviews that we published the week before the election were opinion. Every candidate who came to our interview (and I think it's interesting to note that all but a couple showed up -- on their own accord) knew what they were getting into; they knew the purpose was for us to interview them and then provide our opinion about them. Readers knew this as well, as the section was clearly seperated from the news section, and the preamble stated this as well (also, I'd like to believe that if students somehow didn't understand from the various signs presented to them that this was opinion, the fact that opinions were expressed would have tipped them off).

Of course these were not impartial. They were opinions, which by definition are not impartial, since they're primary goal is to express one's opinion.

Then let's move to our news coverage. I fail to see any glaring evidence of partiality and badmouthing Barski in our news section. He was given as much -- and sometimes more -- coverage as the other candidates and quoted fairly, with as objective reporting as possible.

If this assessment of our news coverage is incorrect, please enlighten us, but I suspect your complaints about impartiality are referring to our editorial comments. If that's the case, your complaints are misguided and uninformed.

I remember seeing a student post a saying that said something comparing Barski to a Nazi dictator (I wonder who they mean?)on the website and then being selected to be printed in the gauntlet newspaper. Out of all the postings they picked that one. How is that fair; the Gauntlet isn't supposed to even let that stuff be posted on their website let alone be printed in the paper. As for West they put things in that pretty much described him as a saint. I wonder who the Gauntlet wanted to win. I agree with west_wont_accomplish_anything.

west probably won't get anything done. but do you actually barksi would've of? harvey and the provincial government would have walked all over him. he doesn't know shit about shit and it would shown in his first meeting with university admin.

Being SU President is an absolute joke.

The SU can do nothing about tuition increases, which is the most pressing issue facing students today, so what good are they?

It is just something to put on your resume.

Just out of curiosity, does West live in residence?

Living in res is the easiest way to get votes and, sadly, the students living in residence do not represent the majority of the student body.

Ahhhhhhhhh . . . politics.