David Bunce
David Bunce
September 19, 2021

UNBSU Election Sees Record Low Voter Turnout

Submitted photos of the UNBSU 2021-2022 executive team | Graphic by Jules Keenan

At midnight on February 27 the unofficial Student Union Election results were announced through UNB’s e-services, with Kordell Walsh receiving 290 votes en route to the presidency. 

Of 9318 registered voters, 569 ballots were cast for a turnout of 6.1 per cent, marking the lowest turnout for a Student Union presidential election in over ten years. 

Joining Walsh on the 21/22 Student Union Executive are Téa Fazio as Vice President Advocacy, Deanna Merriam as Vice President Internal, Brennan Marks as Vice President Student Life, and Bhavya Malhotra as Vice President Finance and Operations. 

Incoming President Kordell Walsh is honoured to have been elected and is excited to get to work. A major feature of his work will be fostering a dialogue with the student body. 

Walsh is extremely excited about the consultation process with the student body and seeks to improve communication in various ways. 

“It is hard to ignore the low turnout this year. I do not take this election as a full endorsement of my platform and will work to understand what students want,” Walsh explained. “I will be utilizing mass emails more often. Many students do not engage over social media, so I want to make sure we reach everyone with important information.”  

Walsh also felt the previous Student Union utilized stories on social media too often, feeling that they are easily missed as they disappear after 24 hours.

As for the fall semester, Walsh is pushing for a return to in-person classes. 

“I am cautiously optimistic. I want classes to be in-person while holding student safety above all,” explained Walsh. 

Fazio shared a message of excitement on her personal Facebook page, announcing that she had been voted in per the unofficial results. 

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to continue working on actionable change through advocacy and towards a better UNBSU for us all,” Fazio said. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this opportunity.”

Malhotra shared similar sentiments on his personal Facebook page, grateful for the opportunity to act as Vice President Finance and Operations. 

“I would want to appreciate each and every student who put their name forward and took part in these elections,” said Malhotra. “I present my utmost gratitude to everyone who supported my campaign and voted for me.”

Marks expressed his excitement, sharing his hopes of thriving in his position as Vice President Student Life. 

“I want to thank everyone who logged on to vote,” said Marks. “I know this is going to be a challenging year as the VPSL role and the student union as a whole needs to work hard to get people reconnected to our community! But I cannot wait to see what this team can achieve!”

Seth Eichorst has been elected as the Law Representative and hopes to rebuild a connection between the faculty and the Student Union at large, while advocating for the interests of law students in the upcoming year. 

“Law students feel neglected as a faculty by the Student Union, but it is a two-way street. No one even nominated themselves within the time frame,” explained Eichorst. “Law students need to be more involved if we want our concerns raised.” 

The remaining filled positions are as follows: 

Accessibility Representative: Mia Scalabrin 

Computer Science Representative: Spencer MacDonald 

Engineering Representative: Houda El Hajjaoui 

Inclusion Representatives: Maya Kors & Jillian Carson 

Law Representative: Seth Eichhorst 

2SLGBTQIAP Representative: Gaia Geoffrey-Noseworthy 

Management Representative: Meaghan Budd 

Nursing Representative: Ariel Lee 

Science Representative: Khanh Nguyen 

Student Senators: Joshua Makarov, Jharana Luitel, & Gaia Geoffrey-Noseworthy 

Student Senator (Two Year Term): Luc Bouvier 

Board of Governors Student Representatives: Vishnu Vardhan & Kordell Walsh 

Deanna Merriam has declined to comment pending the ratification of election results. 

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