USSU's Gardiner re-elected
Gavin Gardiner was returned for a second term as president of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU) in an election that saw one position decided by just four votes.
Gardiner received 43.2 per cent of the votes cast for president, compared to the 37.87 per cent garnered by his nearest rival. The closest race in the March 2-3 election was for the position of Vice-President Operations and Finance, which was won by Brett Campbell by just four votes. Other results include: Sarah Connor in the position Vice-President Student Issues with 55.35 per cent of the vote; Evan Cole became Vice-President Academic Affairs with 36.82 per cent; and Michael Kowalsky, the only candidate for Vice-President External Affairs, received a 61 per cent vote of confidence.
Students elected to positions on the University senate were Jason Barnhart, Geoffrey Barton, Talib Daredia, Robin Mowat, Brent Thoma and Ashley Turgeon.
Voter turnout was 18.8 per cent.
A complaint made to the USSU Election Board delayed ratification of the results until March 9. Chief Returning Officer Colleen Wiegers, a lawyer with MacPherson, Leslie and Tyerman, said the complaint came March 3 and involved two candidates who were seen in the entrance of a campus residence offering alcohol to students “in furtherance of their campaign”.
Wiegers said an investigation showed no involvement by one student, who ultimately won an executive position in the election. The second student, a losing candidate, was found to have indulged in “unacceptable” behaviour involving alcohol and as a result, has had the usual 50-per-cent refund of campaign expenses withheld by the USSU Board. She explained there is a $400 limit on campaign spending, and if candidates run a “clean” campaign, they are entitled to a refund equal to half of their expenses. Wiegers said she will write a letter of reprimand to the student.