BGP celebrates executive election victory

Berkok, Green and Pritchard win election after receiving 59.7 per cent of the vote on the second reading

Team BGP rejoices over their win with supporters shortly after learning they’d won the election on Thursday morning.
Team BGP rejoices over their win with supporters shortly after learning they’d won the election on Thursday morning.
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Team BGP’s victory Thursday morning was met with screams of joy by the team members and their supporters.

The screaming began as soon as the AMS chief electoral and chief returning officers entered the third-story JDUC common room BGP had been waiting in with their campaign volunteers.

The rest of AMS council accompanied both CEO Caileigh Simpson and CRO Ali Tejpar in announcing BGP as next year’s AMS executives, bringing with them champagne and congratulations.

“Catharsis has never been so well defined for me until this morning,” President-elect Eril Berkok said.

The members of BGP were anxious prior to the announcement, which had been delayed almost 15 hours.

Following the release of the results, teammates Berkok, Peter Green and TK Pritchard hugged each other, thanked their volunteers and ventured to Queen’s Pub for celebratory drinks.

The AMS reported that 41.4 per cent of AMS members voted in this year’s election — the highest turnout since 1991. BGP won with 59.7 per cent of the vote in the second ballot.

Today, the president and vice-president-elects will begin preparing themselves for the roles of AMS executives, positions which will commence on May 1.

“The most important thing we need to be doing right now is to start transitioning,” Berkok said. “That will be a good step to ensure we’re ready for May.”

“You’ll see me in Tristan’s [Lee, vice-president of operations] office tomorrow,” Green, AMS vice-president of operations-elect, said.

Pritchard, AMS vice-president of university affairs-elect, echoed his statement and said he will begin meetings with the current vice-president of university affairs, Mira Dineen.

Expanding the Blue Light system to Victoria and City Park by this summer is something Pritchard said he’ll begin working on immediately.

The team has consulted with Student Affairs, who support the expansion and will help the team negotiate with the City to expand further into the University District.

“It’s a matter of doing those negotiations and figuring those out,” Pritchard said.

Berkok said his first goal as president-elect is to lay the groundwork for expanding Queen’s Wi-Fi, a multi-year project the team will undertake in conjunction with Queen’s Information Technology services. The process will begin by surveying areas to determine where the expansion would cover the most students

“Obviously it’s a big project that we want to get started as soon as possible,” Berkok said.

Green added that one thing he’ll begin to review is the current AMS hiring practices to ensure equitable standards for next year’s commissioners and service directors.

While BGP will begin their term in three months, teams PDA and TNL will make other arrangements.

Team PDA, made up of presidential candidate Alexander Prescott, vice-president of university affairs candidate Lisa Acchione and vice-president of operations candidate Craig Draeger submitted a statement to the Journal Thursday afternoon.

“Ultimately, we are happy to see Eril, Peter and TK elected for their respective positions. They ran a fair and attractive campaign that exemplified their potential as prospective student government leaders,” the statement read.

Team TNL retained a positive outlook after receiving a call from the AMS Elections Team telling them they had lost to BGP.

“We didn’t win, but it really wasn’t for nothing — we learned a lot, we did have fun, we made some amazing friendships. I’m just really proud of the three of you and the rest of the team,” Daniel Bone, Team TNL’s campaign manager, said. “It was pretty amazing to see all that support all week.”

“I think we ran a very positive campaign,” TNL’s presidential candidate Troy Sherman said. “I think most importantly we brought a lot of issues to the attention of the students.”

— With files from Nick Faris and Rachel Herscovici

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