Day’s big night ends in landslide

Low comes in second on preferential ballot

Nick Day, rector-elect, celebrates his win at home last night.
Nick Day, rector-elect, celebrates his win at home last night.

Last night, Nick Day was awarded the position of Queen’s 32nd rector.

He won 50 per cent plus one of the vote, so there was no need for a preferential ballot.

Twenty-eight per cent of graduate and undergraduate students voted in the rector election.

A crowd of approximately 30 people cheered for Day when members of the AMS executive came to his house to deliver the news. He immediately thanked everyone for their support and answered a stream of phone calls from friends delivering their congratulations.

“I didn’t believe I was going to win,” Day said, adding that he’s proud of the way he ran his campaign. He said he’s excited about the job and finally being able to put his ideas into action.

Day said he wants to start working with different groups on campus to implement cultural events at Queen’s, which he said he hopes will help deal with equity issues.

“I just want to dive headfirst into those projects,” he said.

Day also addressed some of the negativity surrounding his campaign, such as some libelous advertisements about him on Facebook.

He said he tried his best to run a clean campaign and to ignore the negativity.

“I think I ran an extremely good campaign … I did the best that I could.”

“I did my best to stay positive,” he said, regarding the controversy, which included Facebook ads claiming he was ‘anti-Queen’s.’ “It was difficult but I reminded myself to do my best in spite of it.”

He said he’s learned a lot from the experience.

“I’ve learned that politics at school can be very petty and dirty,” he said. “You have to try to stay resilient.”

Day said he has a lot of respect for the other two rector candidates.

“I think they’re both great. … Ryan Low had a lot to say about the reputation of the school,” he said, adding that he liked Low’s ideas to maintain the reputation of the Queen’s degree.

Runner-up Low said he had a lot of respect for Day’s campaign.

He said he’s confident Day will do a good job.

“Obviously I wish I won but I’m really happy,” he said. “I’m really excited for what he’s going to do.”

Low said he thinks the rector position has a lot of potential to really affect students, which is why he’s glad that Day shares his ideas about making the position more accessible to them.

“It’s really important that the rector becomes a more visible position on campus … 80 to 90 per cent of the people I’ve talked to had no idea what it was,” Low said, adding that he’s discussed this with Day.

Low said he liked Day’s commitment to dealing with equity on campus and agrees that this should be a main project for the rector.

“The two really big things I’d like to see are the increased profile of the rector and fixing some of the equity issues,” he said. “I think that will bring a better respect for the Queen’s degree.”

Idriss Bouhmouch, Comm ’10 and a Day supporter, said he was happy to hear of his win.

“I think it’s cool that Nick is involved in different social circles,” he said, adding that he thinks it’s helped him to attract voters from many different groups.

Day’s campaign manager Elamin Abdelmahmoud, ArtSci ’10, was thrilled to hear of his success.

Abdelmahmoud, who also won the position of ASUS one-year Senator last night, said the fact that Day won without the need for a preferential ballot said a lot about him.

“We’re extremely happy about this,” Abdelmahmoud said. “It’s a reflection about how strong our campaign was.”

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