After a flurry of campaigning that took over campus, intense debates and one very long election scrutinizing process, the McMaster Students Union has chosen its next president-elect: Chukky Ibe.
Ibe won by a considerable margin, with at least 1,000 votes between him and each of his contenders. This year’s election saw a voter turnout of 9,327, meaning 41.6 per cent of the MSU population voted in this year’s election. This is slight decrease from last year, where 44.5 per cent of the MSU population voted.
Ibe, a fifth-year Political Sciences student, ran on a platform aiming to improve the lives of undergraduate students at every level, ranging from large-scale projects such as implementing better wifi to smaller projects like the MSYou, which will survey other candidates’ platforms to add popular projects from other platforms.
Ibe recalls Jan. 26, the last day of voting, as a calm day. Rather than linger over the election results all night, which were not released until 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 27, Ibe opted to decompress following the end of the campaigning period.
Rather than gather with his campaign team waiting for the election results, Ibe opted to take the evening for himself and wait until the morning to see the actual results of the election. Ibe turned off his phone and computer and went to bed early.
“I tell my friends it’s like ‘divine nonchalance’; you control the things you can control. Once it’s done, you just wait for whatever outcome it’ll be,” said Ibe.
Ibe missed the traditional call the new president-elect receives from the current MSU president, and did not find out he had won the election until much later that day when he finally felt comfortable checking social media.
“Helen [Zeng, Chief Returning Officer of the MSU Elections Department], woke me up. She came to me in my dream and she said, ‘Chukky, it’s okay to check your phone’. I checked my email, and I had gotten an email from this guy who helped me out with the campaign and he said congratulations on being the next MSU president,” said Ibe.
Ibe’s plans for the next few months before he takes office include finishing his degree and ensuring his suggestions for Welcome Week are implemented before planning ends in March.
While still in shock about his win, Ibe believes his platform truly represented the needs of the people and the election results reflect that. Ibe cites his experiences outside the MSU as well as his campaign team for his win.
“I’ve always been a part of many communities on campus, so when I say a thing [from my platform] it’s not coming from thin air. When I talked to people, it was less about my platform and more about what their concerns are,” said Ibe.
Ibe’s campaign team was on the smaller size, with about 13 core team members and about 115 volunteers. Ibe feels his team’s diversity is another aspect to why he won this election.
“We had a balance of people who had done things for a long time, and people who had no idea what a campaign team should look like. We also had people who were MSU bubble deep and people who give zero shits about the MSU,” Ibe said.
Ibe is ultimately excited to see what he can bring to the MSU in the coming months.