Trustee election goes to Jennifer Li

Opponent Mike Blair praised for breaking down engineering-AMS barrier

Jennifer Li became the next Undergraduate Student Trustee on Wednesday night.
Jennifer Li became the next Undergraduate Student Trustee on Wednesday night.
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Jennifer Li’s party erupted in celebration when current undergraduate student trustee Andrew Aulthouse walked in with a party in tow.

Li said she’s “truly humbled by the support of the Queen’s undergrad”, having won the student trustee election with 53 per cent of the votes.

“I was just trying to breathe and not stress myself out and overthink it,” said Li, reflecting on the moments leading up to seeing Aulthouse alongside AMS President Allison Williams, Vice–President of Operations Justin Reekie, Rector Mike Young and Commissioner of Internal Affairs Claire Cathro.

“It’s kind of crazy to think that it’s over,” she added, “but the 10 days just flew by.”

Li’s party was held at a friend’s house in the University District, where she was surrounded by close friends, some from ConEd and some from home.

She said she couldn’t thank her volunteers enough for dedicating their time and effort to her campaign.

“When students come together, great things can happen,” she said.

After initial celebrations, Li’s party broke into cheers of “Trust Li”, her campaign slogan. Li made her way around the party, hugging each of her supporters and thanking them personally for all their help.

Li also thanked her opponent Mike Blair for “such a clean and professional campaign”.

“He treated me with so much respect and I’m really grateful for that,” she said, adding that there was never any negativity between the two candidates.

She said she’s looking forward to working with Aulthouse.

“There is still a lot to learn about the different issues facing the University,” she said.

“Running a campus-wide campaign is terrifying, and putting yourself out there is terrifying. I personally never thought that I’d be able to do that, but I hope other people aren’t afraid to do the same thing because it’s such an amazing learning experience.”

Sherri Patterson, Li’s good friend and campaign manager, said she couldn’t believe it when she saw the AMS walk in, but never actually doubted that Li would win.

“I had so much faith in her,” Patterson said. “I just didn’t want to say it because I didn’t want to jinx it. She’s going to do an amazing job.”

Aulthouse said both candidates ran very strong campaigns, and that he looks forward to helping Li transition.

Before results were announced, Li’s opponent, Mike Blair, said he was nervous and that he didn’t know which way the results of the election would go.

After receiving the news of his loss, Blair, Sci ’17, said he was grateful to those who supported him throughout the campaign process.

"I'd first like to thank everyone that did support me,” he said.

“I'm greatly appreciative of that and I wish Jenny all the best in her endeavours … I hope that she now fulfills the mandate of the part.”

Stephen Penstone, EngSoc director of communications, praised Blair in a speech following the loss.

"I'd like to say that Mike, in running in this campaign, broke a lot of barriers to show that engineers can compete on that level of government and be competitive as well," said Penstone, Sci ’15.

"The first one through the wall is always bloody, and Mike did that for us."

Penstone started an "I like Mike" chant at the end of his speech, and everyone at Clark Hall Pub gave Blair a standing ovation.

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