Current Feds President Chris Lolas announced the 2017 Feds election results Feb. 16 in the SLC lower atrium. He thanked elections officer Reba Nauth, the candidates who ran for positions, and the students who voted.
“I’m very grateful that voter turnout was as high as it was,” Lolas said. “Obviously it’s not anywhere near where we want it to be … but it’s definitely a good step forward.”
Highest voter turnout in six years
The total voter turnout this year was 15.28 per cent of the student body, considerably large for UW student elections and notably higher than the nine per cent voter turnout of 2016.
“We have a lot data to show that … this is the worst week for voter turnout,” said Sacha Forstner, undergraduate senator at-large. “In spite of that, turnout went to its highest in six years, and I think that’s positive, and I think there’s more to be done.”
The largest challenge to voter turnout lies with off-campus students.
“The big challenge in Feds elections is always engaging students who are off campus and on co-op … that’s a perpetual engagement problem at Waterloo in general,” Forstner said.
Team Gold proved to be the popular candidates, sweeping each category. Andrew Clubine won 2,836 of the VP education votes, compared to Heather Bone’s 1,219. Gold’s Jill Knight received 2,190 votes, earning more than Reboot’s Andrew Zettel (who received 1,106 votes) and independent Jazbel Wang (with 915 votes). Brian Schwan was re-elected to the VP operations and finance position with 2,852 votes, while his opponent Joshua Voskamp received 1,225 votes.
Finally, Antonio Brieva was elected as Feds president, with 2,974 votes to Caleb Voskamp’s 1,297.
“I’m a bit surprised about the margins. I thought it would be closer,” said president-elect Brieva. “But I want to congratulate [Team Reboot] on running a campaign because I can tell you by experience this is very difficult, there’s a lot of ups and downs in a campaign.”
The Feds Senate election results were also announced. Grant Mitchell, who received 293 votes compared to Jason Small’s 205 votes, claimed the engineer senate seat. Matthew Gerrits took the senate at-large seat, receiving 1,626 votes to Nickta Jowhari’s 897.
Finally, the environment council seats went to Stephanie Ye-Mowe (168 votes) and Rebecca George (111 votes), edging out Lisa Glutting (72 votes).
The soon-to-be executives don’t officially start until May 1, but Team Gold will be preparing for their roles well ahead of time.
“I’ve been told by Sarah [Wiley, current VP education] that we’re going to get started well before my first day, so there’s a lot of work to do between now and May 1,” Clubine said. “I’d like to keep some buses on Ring Road, because once the train comes in, they might be taking some buses off.”
Outgoing President Lolas will soon be leaving more than just his office. “I have one more term of school — hopefully one more term!”