Aaron Bailey has been elected the 106th President of the Alma Mater Society.
Beating out his competitors Cheneil Antony-Hale and V, Bailey listened to the announcement of his win amid sounds of popping champagne and congratulatory chants from members of his fraternity.
"I'm pretty excited," said Bailey. "It's going to be a very, very good year."
Bailey, who has been involved with the AMS for over four years now and ran against a candidate with big plans for the society, said that he had been nervous about the results until the last moments of the election.
"My competitor ran an unbelievable campaign," said Bailey. "She was very grassroots, very good at being person-to-person. I was very impressed by what she did. I was nervous until the very end."
Bailey's next steps include going to the Alpha Delta Pi Diamond Ball fundraiser on Saturday and meeting with current president Tanner Bokor on Sunday to begin learning the ropes of the new position. By attending student-organized events, he hopes to put his plans to make UBC and the AMS more inviting to students into action immediately.
"We have a new building opening and, legitimately, next year is going to be the most important year of the AMS in the last 100. If we don't get people in that building, enjoying themselves, excited, having fun times, we're going to lose out on the first impression for the next 65 and that's really what it's about," said Bailey. "I'm not going to stop fighting that until the day they take me out of office."
Antony-Hale, who is a newcomer to the AMS and ran against Bailey with a platform that focused on accessibility and social justice, said that although she had expected the results of this election, the experience of running was a positive one overall.
"I feel really happy that I did this because I got very close with a lot of people," said Antony-Hale. "I learned a lot about the AMS, I learned a lot about myself and I learned a lot about just the power structure of the university and about different policies and different issues on campus and about the solutions to them too."
Antony-Hale also said that now that the campaigning and debating is over, she is relieved to be able to catch up on her homework, which she had not done for almost three weeks. She also said that she is unsure whether she will continue with student politics in the future, but definitely values the learning experience that running against a popular candidate like Bailey has given her.
"I didn't know that I could learn things so quickly and debate that well," said Antony-Hale. "I've never debated before and the first debate was a huge eye-opener, a huge shock."
Joke candidate V, who has advocated for a complete dissolution of the AMS and a Hunger Games-esque battle between all the students, said that the entire electoral system was flawed.
"That just validated the opinion on the crooked elections system and the fact that most cannot be trusted to make the right choice for everyone," said V.
V also said that he will not be giving up on his dark vision for the AMS and the university, but for now he needs to make himself scarce for the time being as the secret police is always on the lookout for me.
"I am not going to reveal any grand plans, but I'm just saying that there is a building that is opening up. The fact that I wasn't elected does not mean that I will stop doing things. You may not see me for a while, but that doesn't mean that I will be gone."