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Voting begins tomorrow for SAMU’s Students’ Council election

by | Oct 12, 2022 | Campus, Politics | 0 comments

MacEwan University’s Students’ Council election is taking place this week! Voting opens on Oct. 12 at 9 a.m. and closes on Oct. 13 at 4 p.m. Voting can be accessed through your MacEwan email.

Students’ Council is the highest governing body at the Students’ Association of MacEwan University (SAMU), and the council makes decisions about services, events, and policies that affect students and their university life. 

This year, there are 14 candidates running. Abby Beka, Freja Cartujano, Jayden Depeel, Nhi Phan, Alam Tesfay, and Joseph A. LA Torre are running for re-election, and the remaining candidates — Gabriel Ambutong, Cierra Jacobs, Mary-Excel Okey-Nwaka, Darjan Nenezic, Rayyah Sempala, Justine Mae Tan, Sonia Yusuf, and Layal Zidan — are first-time Students’ Council candidates. 

The griff reached out to all candidates via email for brief comments on their goals and motivations. The following are the responses received before the time of publication.

Gabriel Ambutong

Why did you decide to run for Students’ Council?

“My reason for running for re-election is simple. There are issues at MacEwan that have not been fully addressed. I believe that my leadership experience serving on Council, being the President of the Investment Club, Vice President Internal of the FentaNIL Project (overdose mitigation group), and co-founder and President of the Chess Club, has given me the tools necessary to skillfully represent the Student Voice.”

What are some goals you’d like to accomplish on Council?

“Serving as a voice for students is a priority of mine. As I’ve always said, I would consider my time on council a success if I were able to faithfully advocate for efforts geared towards mental health support, financial stress alleviation, and inclusivity, diversity, and acceptance programs.”

What are some issues you feel passionately about tackling?

“I am genuinely passionate about our community at MacEwan. I believe that by addressing the issue of student engagement, we can foster a better culture where students can thrive.”

Why is it important that students vote in the election?

“Voting lets you have a say, and as a Councillor, I want to represent you, so take advantage of your right to vote!”

Freja Cartujano

Why did you decide to run for Students’ Council?

“I have two reasons why I am running for the Students’ Council. The first reason is my engagement and contribution to SAMU. SAMU has a strong effect and student voice towards MacEwan and their initiatives; I would like to be a part of that again. The second reason is that I enjoy the environment and the people involved in Council, and I am looking forward to making new connections with the new candidates if we all get elected.”

What are some goals you’d like to accomplish on Council?

“I talk about this more in-depth in my Instagram campaign (@freja.aura). A brief overview of what I want to accomplish would be diversifying international student engagement, mental health advocacy, and SAMU’s financial accountability.”

What are some issues you feel passionately about tackling?

“I would like to understand international student fees and further international student engagement. This would be important for me and all international students who are curious about it. Our student fees are unregulated, and as SAMU does, I want to see a full breakdown. Secondly, I would like to create a way for new international students to socialize within and outside the university and connect them to school and local activities within Edmonton. I am aware that I seem biased toward international students at this point, but I have good intentions. I am an international student, and I seek these basic necessities in my university experience. I did not have these opportunities and knowledge when I started university, and I simply want to change that.”

Why is it important that students vote in the election?

“Students’ votes are essential because the collective change to any fundamental or repetitive issues should be addressed. With their votes, we can push forward solutions on how to resolve it.”

For more information about the candidates’ platforms, visit

Make sure your voice is heard and cast your vote before 4 p.m. on Oct. 13.

Mya Colwell

The Griff


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