“Deepak, your life is going to be hell for the next year [. . .] but this is it, you’re elected, you’re the next President.”
Those were the words from outgoing Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) President Enoch Weng, moments after Deepak Sharma was announced as the new President-elect of the SFSS.
Both referendum questions passed and with over 19 percent voter turnout, the referendum overcame the five percent threshold to be passed.
While all 11 Connected slate members went undefeated, not all were winners. The Science representative race saw a tie after polls, with both slate member Tomas Rapaport and Jimmy Dhesa garnering 280 votes. Independent Electoral Commissioner (IEC) Vanna Lodders commended the candidates on the campaign they ran: “Everybody acted like adults — for the most part.”
Sharma, current VP Student Life, spoke to The Peak about how he’s excited to use the next 365 days to put his plans into action. “We’ve all spoke a lot,” he said. “Now it’s time, come May 1, for our actions to speak louder than our words.”
He spoke to the lessons he learned during his campaign: “As a team and as a leader, you’re only as strong as your weakest link.”
“Now it’s time, come May 1, for our actions to speak louder than our words.”
– Deepak Sharma, SFSS President-elect
After it was announced that Sharma won, his opponent Darien Lechner, who ran as an independent, congratulated his opponent as is tradition. Said Lechner, “The voters are never wrong.” Lechner during his campaign brought up issues regarding the Build SFU project and bylaw reform. He mentioned that he is looking to work with the new board on these issues. Said Lechner, “I hope they stick to their promises.”
However, the real surprising moment of the night came when the announcement for Science representatives ended in a tie for candidates Jimmy Dhesa and Tomas Rapaport. “I thought that the student body would be torn with the pick, and definitely that’s what did happen,” said Dhesa.
His suggestion was to have both of them sit on the board in lieu of the missing seat for the Environment representative without a candidate. Lodders said the IEC will get back with what happens in the coming days, as she could not find anything immediate in the case of a tie.
The VP Finance race was especially close with Connected Slate candidate Hangue Kim winning with 55.9 percent. Said Kim, “I feel great.” He spoke to the overlap between him and his opponent Ibrahim Hafeez. Hafeez said to The Peak about the results, “I’m happy [. . .] I poured in my 100 percent.”
Curtis Pooghkay won the VP Student Life with a 76.3 percent approval rate. He expressed pride in all the Connected members, and was happy with the effort his slate put forward during the campaign season.
“I’m really happy about our Connected results, I think that everyone that won deserved it and I think that everyone that won worked hard for it.”
The most decisive winner of the night was Larissa Chen, who won the VP Student Services position with a 86.5 percent approval. She was also the most emotional of the night, breaking into tears upon hearing her victory.
“I know I’m crying right now, but I’m not crying for myself. I’m crying for my team, they got in and I’m so emotional,” she said. “I just Facetimed my mom and she’s so proud of me and I got 86 [per cent approval] and that’s an approval in Asian standards.”
Arr Farah rounded out the rest of the Connected executive winners, taking VP University Relations with 77.6 perfect approval. When asked how he was feeling, he said “Feels great. My whole team won.” When asked how he felt that the election was over, he said “It’s great. I can get back to doing school stuff.”
After all the announcements, the Connected slate went to the Highland Pub to celebrate. They won’t have to worry about their next step for a bit, and Pooghkay mentioned that they wanted to be together to celebrate.
However, it won’t be soon before they take over the SFSS, and Weng had outgoing words for Sharma.
“You’re going to suffer a lot, you’re going to make sacrifices, sometimes you’re going to wake up wondering what the heck you’re doing. But this is it, you’re elected, you’re the next president. You gotta carry it on, I’m passing the torch on to you. I have high hopes for you.
When you go on, stand up proud, be proud of yourself. Speak the truth, be genuine. Care for the students, I know you’ve got to care. Carry it through, okay, Deepak? Just do what you’re doing. But people love you, that’s why they voted you in. Keep that trust, and do good for students. Best of luck.”
President: Deepak Sharma, 63.2 percent / Darien Lechner, 38.8 percent
VP University Relations: Arr Farah, 77.6 percent approval
VP Student Services: Larissa Chen, 86.5 percent approval
VP Student Life: Curtis Pooghkay, 76.3 percent approval
VP External Relations: Christine Dyson, 66.3 percent / Archit Bansal, 33.7 percent
VP Finance: Hangue Kim, 55.9 percent / Ibrahim Hafeez, 44.1 percent
Science representative: Tie Tomas Rapaport, 50 percent / Jimmy Dhesa, 50 percent
Health science representative: Raajan Garcha, 80 percent approval
Education representative: John Ragone, with 85 percent approval
FCAT representative: Prab Bassi, 70.5 percent approval
Business representative: Pritesh Pachchigar, 78.3 percent approval
Arts and social sciences representative: Blossom Malhan, 54.2 percent / Erwin Kwok, 45.8 percent
Applied sciences representative: Alan Lee, 69.2 percent / Prashant Verma, 31.8 percent
At-large representatives: Paul Hans for 36.5 percent / BK Bwakura with 21.7 percent
Full article will be posted shortly. Check back for live updates as the story progresses.