Weng wins SFSS presidency

Members of the crowd lifted president-elect Enoch Weng above their heads moments after his win was announced. - Brandon Hillier
Members of the crowd lifted president-elect Enoch Weng above their heads moments after his win was announced. - Brandon Hillier
Members of the crowd lifted president-elect Enoch Weng above their heads moments after his win was announced. – Brandon Hillier

The results are in, amigos: Enoch Weng has been elected as the SFSS president for the 2015/2016 year.

“I don’t even know how to feel. Just so loved,” Weng told The Peak after his fellow candidates had let him down from their shoulders amid chants of “Enoch, Enoch!” He immediately excused himself, rushing off to shake the hands of the other presidential candidates.

The only independent presidential candidate, Weng received 858 votes, winning by a margin of 220 votes over second-place finisher Zied Masmoudi, who received 638. The two were followed by Erik Hadekaer (605), Kayode Fatoba (500), and Johnny Aether (125).

Masmoudi embraced Weng after hearing the results, telling him, “I know it’s in good hands.”

The elections saw 12.08 per cent voter turnout — the highest percentage since the 2009 elections, excluding years which asked students to vote on referendum questions related to the U-Pass.

The REAL slate were the big winners of the night, with 10 of their 16 candidates elected.

Four executive positions were won by significant margins. Brady Wallace was elected the new VP University Relations with a total of 1,356 votes, just over three times as many as runner-up Ally Van Poa. Barbara Szymczyk claimed the VP Finance position with 1,550 votes, doubling opponent Karan Thakur’s 742.

The new VP Student Life is Deepak Sharma, who triumphed over opponent Hassan Liaquat with a total of 1,470 votes to 809. Darwin Binesh will take over the VP Student Services position with a similar margin of 1,481 votes to opponent Shery Alam’s 828.

Described by Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Oscar Sanchez as the “quadrangle of love,” the four candidates for the VP External Relations position fought a close race. Ultimately, Kathleen Yang emerged victorious with 804 votes, 152 past runner up Blossom Malhan.

All three referendum questions passed, resulting in the establishment of Health Science Undergraduate Student Union (HSUSU) as the official Faculty Student Union (FSU) by a 96 per cent approval rating. Students also voted in favour of reallocating portions of the Space Expansion Fund Levy to the Membership Fee Levy as well as for targeted funding for the SFSS Emergency Food Bank Program, passing by 59 per cent and 76 per cent respectively.

Weng’s fellow presidential candidates had nothing but kind words for the president-elect. “I just remember sitting in the debates and getting constant high fives and fist bumps from Enoch, and the whole time he’s been so supportive and happy,” Aether noted.

Hadekaer reiterated that this just felt like an average Thursday night for him, and was excited for what the new board has in store for the summer: “As a solid team, they’re going to take this board and move it towards where it should be going. And I’m thrilled about that.”

When asked how he felt, Masmoudi told The Peak, “Feeling good, actually. Almost my whole team won, so REAL represents.”

He continued, “I’m sure that [the board is] going to accomplish great things.”

The Peak caught up with Weng, who, teary-eyed, was making the rounds and thanking his fellow candidates and supporters. “I’m feeling very overwhelmed. I’m so thankful for everybody,” he said.

Weng surely has big dreams for the year ahead, but for now, his plans are simple: “Tonight, we’re going to go to my house and just watch Disney movies all night. And that’s how we’re going to celebrate.”

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