by Jane Davenport
The results of the Concordia Student Union presidential election were close, but yielded no surprises as campaign front-runner Rob Green squeaked by Fred Fischer and into the winner's circle. Green got 520 votes to Fischer's 448 in the March 23-25 election, with the other three candidates finishing with approximately 150 votes each.
"I knew it was going to be pretty tight," said Green, who has a degree in Religious Studies and is now enrolled as an independent student. "I tried not to think about it," he added with a grin.
Green was the centre of controversy earlier this year when he resigned as the CSU VP administration for a position on the national executive of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). However, he was apparently able to convince voters that he wouldn't switch hats if elected president.
"My mandate at the CFS finishes in the spring, and I won't be running again," he said.
Fischer, touted in campus media as the campaign's "frat boy," defeated Green in the Loyola polls, but fell short on the downtown campus. Nonetheless, Loyola was a specific focus of Green's campaign.
"An important part of the platform as far as services go was to not expand downtown at all, but only at Loyola," he said. "I want to make that the best campus possible next year."
More surprising than the results was the low voter turnout: a total of 1,494 ballots were cast, compared to approximately 1,700 last year. Sixty-four ballots were spoiled.
Chief electoral officer Lindsey Scully said she was puzzled and upset by voter apathy. "What does it take to get people at this University to turn around and care?" she said. "I think part of the problem is that people don't realize the role the CSU plays in their lives on a day-to-day basis."
Scully said that Dean of Students Don Boisvert made an exception to Concordia's no-flyers policy for the election campaign. She thought the deluge of posters in the Henry F. Hall Building might boost the number of voters, but it was not to be.
"I'd be coming up the stairs and I could actually hear people talking about the candidates, which made me really happy," she said. "I don't know what's left to be done."