Max FineDay narrowly edged out competitors Alyssa Bredohl and Brayden York to become the 2013-14 University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union president.
The results were announced March 28. FineDay won by fewer than 150 votes — not quite a five per cent margin
FineDay — a third-year political studies student — campaigned on a platform that included cheaper textbook options, the possibility of a fall reading week and increased student engagement.
The race for USSU president was closely contested and FineDay credited his competitors with running hard-fought campaigns.
“We had a lot of good opportunities to talk to students and a lot of good ideas came out during this campaign,” FineDay said of the election.
FineDay said he is relieved the campaign is over, and is looking forward to beginning his new position.
Current USSU President Jared Brown says he feels this year’s pool had strong candidates and he believes FineDay will be a good fit for the position.
Two members of this year’s four-person USSU executive resigned early, leading to some uncertainty about the transition period between executives. Nonetheless, Brown said he feels the transition will go smoothly and added that he plans to be as accessible as possible over the coming year.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a major issue,” Brown said. “Everybody who ran has experience with the USSU [and] has been in contact with the current executive throughout the year.”
Both Brown and FineDay said they are looking forward to working with each other in the transition period.
Nour Abouhamra, Jenna Moellenbeck and Jordan Sherbino were also elected to the executive.
Abouhamra was elected vice-president student affairs in a race of six candidates. Abouhamra’s 1,028 votes nearly doubled the total received by any other individual candidate in the field. Improving non-academic life through student health programs and engaging student concerns were the key elements of Abouhamra’s campaign platform.
Abouhamra echoed FineDay’s thoughts, saying she is glad the campaign is over, and is looking forward to working with the other members of the new executive.
In another tightly contested race, Moellenbeck edged out Elias Nelson by a mere 179 votes to become the first woman to hold the position of vice-president operations and finance.
“I’m really excited to break through that barrier that no women can do finances,” Moellenbeck said.
Moellenbeck looks forward to fulfilling her campaign promises of creating an on-campus tax clinic and working with Saskatoon Transit to improve services for students.
Sherbino ran uncontested for vice-president academic affairs and was approved by a large majority.
“Even though I was running unopposed, I was still much more stressed than I had to be,” Sherbino said following the announcement of the election results.
Like the other members of the new executive, Sherbino said he is looking forward to putting his ideas into practice.
Sherbino intends to give students a strong voice when dealing with university administration and wants to work closely with student societies.
Jordan Robertson, Daniel Leblanc, Heather Franklin, Steven Heidel, Justin Wood and Adam Duke were elected as student members of the University Senate.
A third-year political studies major, Max FineDay got his start in student politics in his first year when he sat on the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union External Affairs Committee. In his second year, FineDay was elected to University Students’ Council as a member for the College of Arts and Science. FineDay’s presidential platform included providing a voice for students during TransformUS and sustainability in university operations. Upon seeing “open licence textbook programs” appear across a number of universities in B.C., FineDay was inspired to pursue one at the U of S. Open licence textbooks can be freely accessed and modified through the internet and can be cheaply printed as desired.
Originally from Tripoli, Libya, Nour Abouhamra moved to Lloydminster on the border of Saskatchewan and Alberta before coming to the U of S. She is a fourth-year kinesiology student and has sat on the USSU’s Student Affairs Committee and is both a member of the Kinesiology Student Society and a student representative on University Council. Abouhamra was elected as a Member of Student Council for the College of Kinesiology last year.
The creation of safe, 24-hour study spaces for students during finals and a frosh week were among Abouhamra’s campaign initiatives. Having visited Libya after the revolution in 2011, Abouhamra was inspired to establish a student crisis relief fund to offer interest-free loans to students who are affected by similar circumstances. This is a project that Abouhamra hopes to make a reality during her term.
Jenna Moellenbeck is in her fourth year at the Edwards School of Business, majoring in human resources. Moellenbeck has sat on the USSU’s Academic Affairs and Budget and Finance committees. In addition to two years as a member of the ESB Student Society, Moellenbeck has been elected to represent ESB on USC twice. Improving transit services for students, running a financial literacy campaign and creating an on-campus income tax clinic were elements of Moellenbeck’s platform.
Jordan Sherbino is in his third year in the College of Arts and Science, and is majoring in political studies. Over the past year, Sherbino has served as vice-president for the Public Administration and Political Studies Students’ Society, he has sat on the executive of the St. Thomas More Students’ Union and he’s been a member of both University Council and USC. In fall 2012, Sherbino helped organize the successful summer U-Pass referendum campaign.
Sherbino’s campaign platform included improved academic advising, organizing a second undergraduate research symposium and identifying academic issues that affect students across all university colleges. As the link between university administration and the undergraduate student body, Sherbino looks forward to providing a strong voice for students in university affairs.