When the election results were tallied on March 2, Brianna Workman was at The Cellar Pub.
Don’t worry — it’s a tradition.
The outgoing vice-president education of the St. Thomas University Students’ Union was uncontested in her run for the role of next year’s president. Still, she said it was nice to have student votes make it official.
“I still got my name out there as much as I could for campaigning and it was exciting and humbling to have students put their faith in me for this position,” she told The Aquinian.
She’s been involved with STUSU since her first year, but was still surprised she was uncontested.
Her surprise may have something to do with how competitive the elections were last year.
Despite no contest, Workman continued to campaign.
“I wanted students to get to know me and know what I was about so they were hopefully voting ‘yes’ because they believed in me and my ideas.”
She said she feels her experience and work ethic are what made her the best presidential candidate.
“I think my time on STUSU and in other capacities as a STU student has shown me that I am an extremely passionate and hardworking individual and I really do think that sets me apart,” she said in a message.
“I know that STU students deserve that level of commitment and effort from their President.”
The elected executive team is a diverse one: it’s three-quarters women and three-quarters international students, with two of them being of a non-white ethnicity.
Workman said this reflects STU’s diversity. She’s excited this is reflected within the Union.
She’s excited to work with everyone and is looking forward to combing through STUSU’s constitution and bylaws to pursue “some significant reforms.”
“I have some ideas that I think would really help generate some more engagement, events and activities from the SRC, that I really do think will make the STUSU a more effective organization as a whole.”
It was a busy few weeks for STUSU’s new executive team. Husoni Raymond was preparing for the Atlantic Debate Championships when he got the phone call telling him he’d won.
“I was so overjoyed that so many students believe in me and eager to begin the work to fulfill the objectives of my platform,” he said.
Raymond said he feels he was the ultimate candidate for the position because his platform points were concrete with plans to support them.
“I am most looking forward to improving the support system in a place for clubs and societies because there is a great amount of the work to be done in that sphere,” he said.
Raymond said he’s looking forward to working with such a diverse group of executive leaders.
“Overall, we have the same goal of improving the university experience.”
Emma Walsh was boarding a plane to Frankfurt, Germany five minutes after the polls closed.
“I only received a text message before I turned my phone on airplane mode,” she said in a message.
“I just smiled super wide and sent a quick text to my parents to let them know.”
Walsh said she understood the vice-president education position in way that allowed her to assess the responsibilities and translate them into a platform that reflected the student population.
“I only included items on my platform that would be in addition to the status quo and I have a plan about how to achieve each item.”
Walsh also said her communication skills helped seal the deal and they’ll come in handy while advocating for student needs, which she’s looking forward to.
She’s also excited to meet with various groups in the STU community to gauge what those needs are.
Walsh said she’s pleased to see diversity reflected on the executive team. The experience they all have will bring an efficient and approachable board, she said.
“I also know that each person on the executive board is extremely qualified and competent by their own virtue, and I think that’s why we’ve been elected.”
Vice-president student life-elect
Wasiimah Joomun was also at The Cellar when the polls closed — “just hanging out and eating spin dip,” she said.
“The whole time I was nervous restless … As [President Philippe Ferland] was going down the list and announcing who was elected, my heart was beating so fast and I felt like I could have passed out any second.”
When he announced she won, she remembers screaming and felt so happy, she says.
“I felt like all the work and stress I had all week finally paid off.”
It was tough competition between Joomun and current social inclusion representative Rebecca Kingston. At debates, audience members pried for differences and admitted they had a hard time choosing.
But Joomun said she felt her involvement in various activities on campus is what gave her the edge.
“Students say that I am not just a name, but I am also a face that they see around campus,” she said.
“From students’ feedback, many feel that I am really approachable, caring and hardworking. To be honest, it was tough competition between me and my opponent, but I am really grateful for everyone who supported me.”
Joomun is looking forward to working with her fellow executives next year. She said she wants to “ensure that the needs of STU students are being taken care of.”
The diversity on the team shows STU’s goals of inclusion and integrity, she said. She hopes it will encourage any student with a passion to help to get involved.
“It also shows that students are voting for their representatives and leaders based on their dedication, hard work, passion and not based on socially-constructed differences,” she said.
“I would say that having a diverse executive team, will for sure bring some benefits to the table. But as executive members, we will definitely ensure that all the needs of students are being met and that we are advocating for all students.”