Chris Saulnier elected DSU president
By Ryan McNutt - March 25, 2010
The results are in – the next Dalhousie Student Union executive will be led by a Sexton student.
Computer engineering student Chris Saulnier was elected DSU president Wednesday night after two ballots. The announcement was made to a packed house at the Grawood during the finals of the Dalhousie’s Got Talent competition.
“It was really great – and a huge relief too,” says Mr. Saulnier, who like other candidates had basically put their schoolwork on hold for two weeks while campaigning. “It was a really hard-fought campaign and I honestly had no idea what was going to happen.”
Taking office in May, Mr. Saulnier says he hopes to move quickly on working to improve operations and communication both within the executive and with the DSU council. He’s also excited about bringing a Sexton perspective to the rest of Dalhousie.
“I’m coming from a group of students that is highly active,” he explains. “We’re known as being a strong community and that really shows with the number of engineering people involved in DSU politics. I want to bring that sense of community to other places at Dal.”
Three other members of the DSU executive were elected on Wednesday evening. One of the election’s closer races was for Vice President Internal. Kayla Kurin, a psychology and classics student, had a solid lead after the first ballot, but it took three ballots to get to a majority. Physics and neuroscience student Hannah Dahn ran unopposed for Vice President Student Life and was elected soundly.
The one point consistency between the old and new executives will be Vice-President Education Rob LeForte, who was re-elected to the position with a 63 per cent majority.
“The team that I worked with this year was fantastic and I think there’s a lot of potential with this new group,” says Mr. LeForte. “I have a lot of faith that it will continue to be just as solid a team.”
Mr. LeForte says he’s excited to be able to advance some of the accomplishments of the past year, including a student rating of instructors policy that was recently approved at Senate and acquiring late-night study space for students during exams. That said, he expects that his second year in the job will have a greater focus on external activities, including the negotiation of a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Nova Scotia.
Aside from the executive, Senate representative positions were also up for grabs, with Maggie Lovett, Ben Wedge and Carly Nicholson earning the three available spots.
Voter turnout ended up around 15 per cent – a drop from last year.
“It was really surprising, since it didn’t match what we were hearing on the campaign trail,” notes Mr. Saulnier. “It goes to show that we really need to work seriously on addressing student involvement.”
For complete results, visit http://www.dsuelections.ca