By Kayla Perry, Editor-in-Chief
Johnny Humphrey will return as the Students’ General Association (SGA) President in the 2015-16 academic year. The SGA elections, which took place on Feb. 11 and 12, were held online for the first time at Laurentian this year.
The final vote count, which was released on Feb. 12 at 9:39 p.m., three hours after the polls closed on the final day of the election showed 610 votes cast in favour of Humphrey, and 271 votes cast in favour of Humphrey’s opposing candidate, Joseph Greco.
Of the 912 students who votes in the election (reaching 16.67% of the possible 5470 eligible voters), 31 presidential ballots were rejected in total. “The SGA is in a really good place right now. (The association has) been growing for a number of years, and my goal is to continue to enhance the services we are providing,” said Humphrey on his hopes for the upcoming year. “I have a lot of optimistic goals for this year, and other than that I’d like to continue to build off of last year.”
While reflecting on his first year in office, Humphrey said he realized how important the association is to Laurentian University, and how genuinely the University seeks the students’ opinions.
“I thought I had a good knowledge going into (the position) in my first year, but there was obviously a lot to learn. Over the course of a year, I learned not only from a lot of people, but also about the ins and outs of the university,” said Humphrey. “It’s great to see that in every sort of major project that the university has, whether it’s the new student center, an on-campus arena or the Barrie campus, (the administration) is always very interested in student opinions.”
Although he does not wish to change any of his experiences from his first year as president, he said in his second year he will work to “evolve” his role in the SGA.
Humphrey also hopes to maintain the two pillars his campaign platform centered around: continued progress and enhanced services. He said that this platform encompasses all SGA services, specifically
including food services, the Pub Downunder, and maximizing the V-Desk’s “potential.”
Humphrey’s re-election comes at a time of great change for the SGA: Charles Wilson, former Executive Director of the SGA, left the association at the beginning of this school year after numerous years in that position – furthermore, this upcoming May long-time Vice President of Services Iain Park will leave the university after four years in office.
However, Humphrey remained positive about the incoming executive, stating that Alexandre Prenoveau, newly elected Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, will “do a great job.”
Although Damien Mullin Semeniuk received the majority of votes for the office of Vice President of Student Life, after a failure to remit election reports, the ballot was disqualified by the SGA Chief Returning Officer. This position will now go to a board by-election during the SGA March Board Meeting.
Humphrey said he was “at a loss for words” on the amount of support he received during his campaign, and noted his respect for his opposition.
“Joe (Greco) ran a great campaign, and he’s been active (in the SGA) all year. I appreciate all that he’s done for the SGA, and it’s clear that he really appreciates the students and he does work hard for them,” said Humphrey.