Doug Johnson, ArtSci ’12 and Robyn Laing, ArtSci ’11, sat side-by-side on the couch in Laing’s house as they eagerly awaited the results of this year’s ASUS executive election.
In anticipation of the announcement, the duo and their company brought out the requisite champagne bottles at 8:30 p.m. Suddenly, and without warning, current ASUS president Jill Evans and vice-president Josh Michelson burst through the door and announced Johnson’s and Laing’s victory, mere moments before Johnson received the call.
After an initial round of adulation from the group, Johnson and Laing composed themselves and began to discuss their feelings about the election.
“I think the biggest word to describe what we’re feeling is excitement,” Laing said. “We are very excited.”
Johnson-Laing received 1,756 votes—61.61 per cent of the votes cast.
The team was quick to congratulate their opponents.
“It was a great campaign from both teams,” Laing said. “I’m glad Kevin is still on Assembly next year,” Johnson added. “They’re very good opponents and they both have their strengths. They’ll both be working in the society.”
Laing said she and Johnson will try to bridge the divide with Wiener-Johnston.
“And we want to talk to them about their ideas, because we know our platform isn’t perfect and we can get some ideas from them too,” she said. “We both came out in a different way, so I think it’s good to mix them together. We hope that they meet with us and tell us their thoughts on the society too.”
Johnson said he looks forward to the transition process now that the election is over.
“I guess we’ve got to hit the ground running when we get back,” he said. “I look forward to that, because not only do you have to do your own job, but you’ve got to start learning somebody else’s.”
Laing also said it will be nice to get back to work after taking a break to mount their campaign.
“We’ve had people in our place; he had his deputy and I had my deputy and some co-chairs working for us. But it’s been really painful not knowing what’s been going on with our commissions. So we’re really excited to get back into the swing of things, and be allowed back in the [ASUS] core, because we haven’t been allowed in.”
She praised the outgoing ASUS executive, Evans and Michelson.
“Jill and Josh did a great job,” she said. “[They] made it seem like such a great place to get involved in. They’ve definitely done a great job this year and we want to continue that for next year.”
Johnson added that they are up to the challenge of the coming year.
“We have big shoes to fill for sure, but we’re ready to do it,” he said. “We wouldn’t have gone for this if we didn’t think we were prepared.”
In the five minutes leading up to the election results, another house was satiated with excitement as the other team of Kevin Wiener, ArtSci ’12, and Rory Johnston, ArtSci ’11, awaited their word of victory or loss.
The smile on Johnston’s face was infectious as he greeted his supporters entering the party.
After moving to the living room, Wiener took a seat at the keyboard and pounded the optimistic anthem of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” Moments later, Wiener took the long-awaited call on his BlackBerry. Barely a few seconds of sadness passed before the team jumped to applaud their opponents.
“Doug and Robyn are fantastic people, extremely hard workers, and I know that they will do a great job for all the Arts and Science students at Queen’s,” Wiener said, who will remain involved in ASUS next year in the second half of his two-year senate appointment.
“I would just like to add that me and Kevin are slightly saddened that the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society did not decide to put a Wiener and a Johnston in the ASUS,” Johnston said, to unanimous laughs.
Stephanie Fusco, ArtSci ’10 and Wiener-Johnston’s campaign manager, said they ran a great campaign and pointed to the class talks in particular as a great experience for the team.
“We had a lot of great feedback at the class talks and they really enjoyed going out with everybody and talking to everybody,” she said. “I think the best kind of campaign is one that has two great teams and I think that definitely happened this year.”
Johnston said although he won’t be involved in ASUS next year, he’s determined to be there as a member-at-large and hold team Johnson-Laing accountable.
“I’m going to make sure that they keep their promises and they will be watched. But they are honestly awesome people and actually me and Doug agree that the loser is going to buy the winner rounds. So we’ve already agreed,” Johnston said, laughing.
Wiener said he hopes Johnson and Laing will work to strengthen ASUS and make it act as an effective voice for students.
“This is going to be an important year for ASUS. I think there’s going to be a lot of opportunity for growth in the society,” Wiener said. “With the budget cuts, it’s really important that ASUS take a strong, lobbying stance for Arts and Science students.”
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