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Gourlay grabs presidential victory

Credit: Melanie Anderson

Kendra Sauder (left), Jason King and Adam Gourlay at the Presidential debate on March 11.

Erika Faust | Interrobang | News | March 18th, 2013

The candidates were neck and neck throughout the race, but Adam Gourlay inched ahead of Kendra Sauder to become the president of the Fanshawe Student Union for the 2013/14 school year.

Gourlay said it feels fantastic to win. “It was an amazing campaign, and I was glad to hear we had a large voter turnout.” He ran a campaign based on four pillars: communication, culture, advocacy and transparency.

He will be working with Vice President Internal Ola Akinsara, VP External Matthew Stewart, VP Finance Jessica Brook, VP Entertainment Allie Neeb and VP Athletics and Residence Life Chris Lethbridge. Clayton Greene was elected the student representative for the Board of Governors.

“In the first week or two and during our workshop, I want to meet with (the council), find out where their talents lie, find out where their passions are. Instead of going in with a preconceived perception of what I want from them, I'll talk to them and make sure that they know what they're doing,” Gourlay said. “I feel like if they're passionate about the part of the Student Union they're taking care of, then they will do it more effectively and efficiently.”

As president, Gourlay has three major goals for next year. “My first goal is to look at improving the class rep system; making the communication from the base level of student and bringing that to the top level and make sure the student voice is heard in the college so change can actually occur.”

Secondly, he said, he wants to bring in healthier and higher quality food options to campus, especially for students with strict dietary requirements, such as celiac, gluten-free and halal diets. As a new vegetarian himself, “I have a passion for healthy eating,” he said.

His third major goal is to improve the effectiveness of the Student Union's awareness weeks. “Being part of the College Student Alliance (an advocacy group), I've met student leaders across Ontario and I hear about their awareness weeks, and I would like to use my contacts there to help change the culture here.” Gourlay started the Blue Monday mental health campaign on campus this year, and he has plans to expand it for next year, as mental health is a major issue many college students are dealing with.

Gourlay brings two years of FSU executive council experience with him to the presidential position. He was Vice President Athletics and Residence Life in 2011/12 and is currently serving as VP External. This past year, he worked as the South-West Director of the CSA. The top skills he said he brings to the position are strong communication skills, the ability to roll with the punches and honed leadership abilities. “I've always been empathetic, always been able to put myself in other people's shoes,” he added, saying that that is another quality a strong leader possesses.

When asked what he wanted to be remembered for, Gourlay said he wants to be remembered as the guy who did all he could and listened to people. “I strongly believe that students know what they want and if you let them take the reins sometimes, then it usually turns out well.”

FSU Executive Election results

Total ballots:  1755
Full-time ballots:  1727
Part-time ballots:  28

Adam Gourlay  665
Kendra Sauder  647
Jason King  307
Spoiled  108

VP Finance
Jessica Brook  1002
Aziza Nazar  489
Spoiled  236

VP Internal Affairs (Ola Akinsara)
Yes  1238
No  223
Spoiled  266

VP External & Academic Affairs (Matt Stewart)
Yes  1324
No  138
Spoiled  265

FSU VP Athletics & Residence Life
Chris Lethbridge  1108
Asif Rehman  336
Spoiled  283

FSU VP Entertainment
Allie Neeb  945
Prabhjot Singh  578
Spoiled  204

Board of Governors
Clayton Greene  861
Gabrielle Sturm  610
Spoiled  284
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