Passion not enough for PNF

Team snags 45.5 per cent of vote

PNF vice-presidential candidate Kasmet Niyongabo (centre) gives a concession speech as running mates Mitch Piper and Davina Finn look on.
PNF vice-presidential candidate Kasmet Niyongabo (centre) gives a concession speech as running mates Mitch Piper and Davina Finn look on.

Before the news came of their defeat, Team PNF and their supporters were full of excitement and anticipation.

“We’ve got great energy, great supporters, we’ve got everything we need,” vice-president (operations) candidate Kasmet Niyongabo said about an hour before the results were announced. “Well, almost everything. We’ll have to wait for the phone call.”

Presidential candidate Mitch Piper also commented on the level of energy in the house.

“It’s very exciting,” he said. “It’s nervous in the sense that you know when it’s coming, but you don’t know what the answer is going to be. It would be worse if we had no idea when it was coming.”

For Piper, Niyongabo and running mate vice-president (university affairs) candidate Davina Finn, the three-day break from campaigning meant getting back to the things they’d neglected over the past couple weeks.

“It’s a weird feeling to be a student again,” Piper said. “I went to class, I had a nap.”

“I actually went to two classes,” Finn added.

“I did my laundry finally,” Niyongabo said. “A whole load of red laundry.”

Among the supporters at the party was Mitch’s brother, Bren Piper, Sci ’13.

The younger Piper was happy to share stories about his big brother.

“I started talking at a very late age because Mitch did most of the talking for me,” he said. “He seemed to always know what I wanted, so that was very helpful.”

PNF campaign volunteer Leah Timmermann, ArtSci ’11, said she was happy to have helped in the campaign process, and was proud of the team no matter what the outcome.

“I learned a lot over the campaign,” she said. “Most of all, I’m really proud of how the three handled themselves with grace. Regardless of what happens, I’m so proud of them.”

Team PNF was cheered on over the course of the evening with spontaneous chants of “PNF! PNF!” and “Hip, hip, hooray!”

When a call came for PNF campaign manager Alex Miller shortly after 11 p.m., the house went silent for one of the first times in the evening.

Hearing 54.5 per cent to 45.5 per cent verdict in favour of Team CHR continued the silence.

There was a slight pause before calls of “Fuck that shit!” and “Let’s drink!” and the party was back in full swing.

Then the music was turned back on and the team was met with hugs and handshakes.

Niyongabo was the first to speak to the crowd, standing on a couch in the crowded living room.

“I’ve probably learned the most during the last six months than I have ever learned in three years in university,” he said. “I wasn’t really kidding when I said we were sitting ducks because I’ve got a Baby Duck here. We’re kind of like little ducks here with our mother who said she’d come back and get us at the pond. I guess she probably forgot.”

He said although his team’s efforts didn’t garner a victory, they weren’t lacklustre.

“I have seen people wake up at six a.m. in the morning to come to residence to get the booth. I have seen people skip classes. I have seen people give every single inch of their soul to help us out,” he said.

Niyongabo also said he plans to create a guide to the Queen’s election process for future students. He might plan to graduate this year and help out in some way in Burundi where his father lives.

Piper followed Niyongabo and maintained the composure and optimism he’d displayed all night.

Piper said despite losing the election, he plans to continue his involvement with the AMS.

“One thing that this campaign has showed me is that I do want to be involved in the AMS,” he said.

Finn was the most reserved after the results were announced. She said she learned a lot from the experience but is not sure if she will be involved with the AMS in the future.

Piper, who said he’s had aspirations of AMS presidency since his Frosh Week, said he’s not about to make excuses.

“I’m absolutely proud of what we did,” he said. “Somebody’s got to win, somebody’s got to lose.”

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