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photo courtesy Mico Mazza

AFTER RECEIVING 2,214 preliminary votes, Liz Kessler won the position of vp university affairs in the 2012–13 elections for the executive of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO). Kessler won over first-time candidate Christopher Clarke, keeping her position for the second year.

After delayed election results and a fire alarm, Liz Kessler was cold but extremely happy when she finally gave a statement outside the University Centre.

“I’m really excited!” said Kessler after the results were announced. “Students have given me a strong message to continue the work I’ve done to stand up for students’ interests on campus.”

Kessler campaigned by promoting affordability on campus for students through the U-Pass program and the Drop Fees campaign. She also wants to create a bill of rights to protect students who are living on campus. After the National Day of Action, Kessler felt there was a positive response and the campaign, adding lowering tuition fees will be her priority next year.

“This is the biggest problem that students on our campus are facing,” said Kessler about high tuition fees. “I’ve been working on it for a year already.”

Although Clarke didn’t win his first attempt at landing a spot on the SFUO executive, he was eager to congratulate Kessler on her success, mentioning he has plans to continue his involvement in student politics.

“I plan on running again,” said Clarke. “I really didn’t expect to win. I just wanted to run to voice the other side … Student politics have been run in a way recently that hasn’t been inclusive of everybody, and I just wanted to voice that.”

While Kessler managed to secure her position again, not all candidates in her affiliation were elected. According to Kessler, this new team is going to be a change, and her biggest immediate challenge.

“It’s an unknown and I don’t know what to expect,” explained Kessler about the new team.

Despite the change, she is excited about being able to continue her work.

“I’m looking to continue working for accessible, quality education for everyone,” she said. “We did see a response from the Day of Action, a great response from the provincial government, where they said, ‘We care for you and are going to bring in more funding.’”

—Emily Glass