Robyn Paches outlasted his fellow contestants as he was named the Students’ Unions 2016-17 Vice-President (Operations and Finance) with 54 per cent of the vote in the second round of voting. Paches was named to his seat as VP (Ops Fi) at the elections results party at Dinwoodie Lounge after a long, heated campaign.
In his victory speech, Paches thanked his campaign team for their “constant support.” Afterwards, he thanked another group: his competitors, Taimur Malik and Hasan Birer.
“From Taimur, I really learned a lot about both putting yourself out there and positioning yourself publicly,” Paches said. “Hasan put a different perspective on things. Being an exchange student, he showed me the international perspective more and he really impressed me.”
“It was an excellent race. I really appreciate both of them, and I learned a lot from both of them.”
Birer was eliminated in the first round of voting after None of the Above earned 13 per cent of the vote, while he received 10 per cent. He said he was unfazed by his loss and congratulated Robyn for running a successful campaign.
“I am feeling nice. I think nobody lost today,” Birer said.
“(Next year), I’ll focus on my classes. It was hard to manage my classes and my work for other organizations during this campaign, so next year I’ll keep working for students and the university with different events and activities.”
Malik, who received 32 per cent of the vote in the second round, did not attend the elections results party. In a phone interview with The Gateway, he agreed with Birer’s sentiments in congratulating Paches. When asked if he would change anything about his campaign, he said he had “no regrets.”
“It was a wonderful campaign,” Malik said. “I enjoyed it very much.”
Jokingly, Paches said his first move in office would be to install new hand driers in Dewey’s. More seriously, he said he will be making steps to implement the sexual harassment prevention plan that had been a focal point in his platform.
“That will be fairly easy to put in, and it needs to happen ASAP,” Paches said.
Despite his win, Paches said he wished he could have talked and consulted with more students over the past two weeks.
“I talked to hundreds of students, but I’d rather talk to even more.”