Poon wins JRHC election

President-elect garners 60 per cent of the vote

The Jean Royce Hall Council was officially elected last Friday when Wendy Poon, ArtSci’08, was elected Council President, Yuri Sung, ArtSci’08, was elected president of Harkness Hall, Basant Mohamed was elected house president of Jean Royce Hall and Garth Harris was elected head of Graduate residences.

Julian Chesterman, Sci ’09 and JRHC chief returning officer, said the voter turnout was higher than last year, with 248 of the 648 eligible students voting.

The Jean Royce Hall Council includes West Campus, Harkness International Hall and the Graduate Residences. Campaigning this year took place between Jan. 22 and 29.

Wendy Poon, ArtSci ’08, was elected JRHC executive president with 60 per cent or 144 votes of the votes. Also running were Tian Liang; who received 70 votes, and Alexis Meyerman-Boyer, former Main Campus Resident Council’s president, received 28 votes.

During the campaign period, Poon put up posters in Harkness, Jean Royce, and the Graduate Residence on a $30 budget.

“It’s very much like a high school process,” she said. “It’s all about making sure you’re known around the three residences.”

As executive president, Poon will work with the administration of the university regarding JRHC’s daily operations.

“There are a number of projects I would like to develop, but am not ready to discuss them in detail at this time,” she said. “Mainly, I am interested in increasing accessibility for students living at Jean Royce.”

Garth Harris, a fifth-year marketing PhD student, was elected head of graduate residence with 58 per cent of the vote, beating Thomas Eaves 31 votes to 22.

Harris said he plans to work on the transition of graduate residence when the JDUC is demolished to make way for the Queen’s Centre.

“I would like that to go smoothly and ensure the needs of grad residents are still met,” he said. “Other than that, make sure they have a wonderful year next year and stay out of their way as much as I can.”

Harris said he thinks he garnered voter confidence because of his experience: this is his fifth year living in graduate residence.

“I’ve been around and have seen the issues that need to be addressed,” he said.

Yuri Sung, ArtSci ’08, was acclaimed as Harkness International Hall’s house president “I needed a confidence vote to win, and voters could still vote no,” she said. “I campaigned with flyers and talked to people about my experience, platform, and the importance of their confidence vote.”

In the end, Sung received 100 per cent of the confidence vote from the 36 Harkness residents who voted. Sixty-one residents did not vote.

As an international student from Korea, Sung said she understands the importance of making the transition for students from other countries easier.

“My major concern for next year is organizing various events that residents can participate in, share their own cultures, and experience the spirit of Queen’s, the city of Kingston, and Canada,” Sung said.

As house president, Sung said she also hopes to encourage students new to Canada to get involved in life at Queen’s.

“The house president is there to let students know that we aren’t just isolated with other international students.”

Basant Mohamed, Sci ’09, won the Jean Royce House presidency with 135 of the 157 ballots cast. Shortly after declaring her candidacy, Mohamed was told the other

candidate running for president, Stephen Sebastyan, Sci/ArtSci ’08, had been disqualified.

Sebastyan was disqualified because he submitted a nomination package that contained signatures that had been photocopied from a nomination package he submitted last fall in a bid for house president.

“I was planning to make posters, and was suddenly informed I wasn’t

running against anyone,” Mohamed said. “All I needed was a vote of

confidence.”

Mohamed says she hopes to plan events to bring together Phases I & II of Jean Royce Hall, which are divided even though they are both on West campus.

“They are two different worlds, even though we’re all apart of the same

community,” she said. “I never really see any interaction between the two

buildings. I want to change that.”

Though it can be a bit of a walk, especially in the winter, Mohamed said

she couldn’t be happier living in Jean Royce.

“I like West because it’s small, it’s like our own little world,” she

said. “Plus, the food is really good.”

--With files from Gillian Wheatley

Correction

Stephen Sebastyan is a Sci '10 student. He was disqualified for submitting scanned signature sheets from a previous nomination period.

Incorrect information appeared in the Feb. 6, 2007 issue of the Journal.

The Journal regrets the error.

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