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Hangue Kim elected as SFSS president

Anticlimactic announcement ceremony occurs after nine minute error resolved

The candidates who were able to show up on Monday in Maggie Benston Centre wait in anticipation of the results.
The candidates who were able to show up on Monday in Maggie Benston Centre wait in anticipation of the results.
Image Credits: Nathan Ross

It took a few more days than he would have cared for, but Hangue Kim has officially been voted in as the next president of the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS).

“I’m very grateful for all the students that elected me in,” said Kim after the announcement. “I’m very excited for the year to come, there’s a lot to bring to the table and we’re ready to start working right away.”

The announcement came on April 3, instead of the originally expected March 31, after the original vote was cut short by nine minutes. Students were given the chance to get that last vote in between 12:00 p.m. and 12:09 p.m. on Monday, and the announcement came shortly after at 2:30 p.m.

It took place in the middle of the lunch rush in the Maggie Benston Centre cafeteria, with less than half of the candidates attending.

“The biggest surprise was obviously the nine minute thing, that happened,” said Kim. “We were all ready to either celebrate or cry on Friday, but I mean it’s election, students vote, it’s democracy, it’s how it is.”

Kim, who ran unopposed, joins an executive team for the SFSS that was also largely unopposed. He joins vice-president (VP) university relations Erwin Kwok, VP external Prab Bassi, VP student services Jimmy Dhesa, and VP student life Alam Khehra as executives who only had to secure a yes vote from students instead of defeating an opponent.

The only race for the executive was for VP finance, with Baljinder Bains securing more votes (741) than his running mates Tawanda Masawi (518) and Archit Bansal (473), with Bansal being the only candidate who ran for the SFSS executive for the last two years and lost.

Both Bains and Kwok were not able to attend the announcements, as were several of the candidates after it had been rescheduled, so they had to find out after the initial rush. There was a lack of a party atmosphere compared to the usual Thursday at midnight announcement of years past, as many winners and losers had to attend classes.

In fact, Khehra doesn’t even have time to celebrate, and his mind is already focused on the last academic push of the semester.

“I have a final tomorrow, so I’m going to the library and study now,” he said, as the new VP student life was asked how he was going to celebrate the victory.  

Hangue Kim and friends just can't stay still after hearing about Kim's victory

Hangue Kim and friends just can’t stay still after hearing about Kim’s victory

There were also a few unopposed faculty representatives who were elected.

Juvina Silvestre (communication, art, and technology), Jamie Zhu (education), and Yun Oh (environment) all received more yes votes than no votes to secure their spot on the SFSS Board of Directors.

The closest race was for the health sciences representative, where Aarushi Sharma (95 votes) edged out Natalia Gretskaia (65 votes). A close runner-up for tightest race was for the applied science representative, as Jeffrey Leung took 38% of the vote (106), beating Ekjot Billing (74), Sina Khalili (69), and Hanieh Zahiremami (29).

The races for science representative and business representative were a little more defined. In the science race, Parham Elmi (263) defeated Nikki Dumrique (206), and it was Gini Kuo (174) who would win against Braeden Peterson (113).

The last faculty representative race saw arts and social sciences winner Jackson Freedman (344) more than double his opponent’s tally, Mason Taykandy (144).

Finally, the two at-large representatives who were elected ran away with the race, as Raajan Garcha (785) and Jaskarn Randhawa (733) easily won over Robert Hanson (436), Cody Leung (389), and Dedarul Chisty (263).

The other part of the ballot was the two referenda questions, which saw one pass and one fail. The health and dental referendum was successful, and although more students voted in favour of the bylaw referendum than voted against it, it did not have enough numbers to be successful, and failed.