Lauren Long trusts in students

Elected with 57 per cent of the vote, student trustee Lauren Long is prepared to begin her new role immediately

Student trustee-elect Lauren Long says she was impressed by her fellow candidates running for the position.
Student trustee-elect Lauren Long says she was impressed by her fellow candidates running for the position.
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In the fourth round of preferential voting, Lauren Long was voted undergraduate student trustee winning with 57 per cent of the vote. Long, ComSci ’13, celebrated her victory with AMS executive candidates Team CES last night.

Long said her campaign has been a growing experience.

“It’s been a journey of growth and even though it’s only been 10 days, it’s felt like a month,” she said. “I didn’t know if I could pull off a campaign but [student trustee] Morgan’s been really helpful. I went to talk to her and her energy motivated me to go for it.”

Long said she was impressed by her contenders and wants to incorporate points from other candidates’ platforms.

“I thought it was fantastic that there were so many people running, it shows commitment to the school,” she said.

In particular, Long said she wants to incorporate Allin’s platform points on sustainability and Witzke’s idea to ensure debt is not put on students’ shoulders.

After winning, Long said she wasn’t sure if she’d be the victor.

“I figured I’d be number one or two [in the end],” she said.

As for immediate plans, transitioning will start tomorrow, said Long.

“Tomorrow I have an 8:30 [a.m.] chemistry lab that I need to go to, then lunch with Morgan and my first caucus meeting,” she said. “I have a lot of research to do, I still don’t know all about the role and I want to learn more.”

When told who else was running for student trustee, Long said she considered dropping out of the race.

“I don’t think that out of all the candidates I had the most experience,” she said. “I really appreciate all the support I got.”

Second-runner up Andrew Witzke earned 43 per cent of the vote and made sure to congratulate Long on her win. Witzke, ArtSci ’12 and Comm ’13, said Long will be effective in her new role.

“Congrats to Lauren because she had a great campaign and is going to do a great job representing students on the Board of Trustees,” he said, adding that he doesn’t regret running for the position.

“I put my heart and soul into this. Whatever the results, it’s an experience I wouldn’t turn my back on. I don’t doubt that I had the best campaign and campaign chairs.”

Witzke said he and Long had different approaches in their campaigns.

“We took a different identity,” he said. “She focused on reaching out to students … I wanted to bring a vision to Queen’s.”

The experience of running was well worth it despite the loss, Witzke said.

“I’m not going to give up my dream of being a politician. This is one of many formidable experiences [I’ll have],” he said. “I got to, for 10 days, experience what it’s like to be a politician.” Witzke said preferential voting splits the vote for contestants.

“Once you eliminate people from a preferential ballot … it’s a really split vote. It’ll be interesting to see what the statistics say tomorrow.”

In the first round of voting, Jesse Waslowski was eliminated, earning 10 per cent of the vote. Candidate Patrick Allin lost out in round two with 14 per cent of the vote. The third round showed Long and Witzke as the most popular contenders when Stephen Pariser lost the race, earning 27 per cent of the vote.

With files from Caitlin Choi, Kelly Loeper and Catherine Owsik

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