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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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KhaBhuya! party sweeps SA elections with promises of experience, stability

12.5% of undergraduates voted, nearly double last year’s 6.9% turnout

<p>From left to right: Treasurer-elect Louis Poon, President-elect Samin Bhuya, Vice President-elect Killian Hannigan.&nbsp;</p>

From left to right: Treasurer-elect Louis Poon, President-elect Samin Bhuya, Vice President-elect Killian Hannigan. 

In a resounding victory, KhaBhuya! party candidates won all three seats in this week’s Student Association (SA) executive board elections. 

Beginning in the fall semester, Samin Bhuya will be SA’s president, Killian Hannigan its vice president, and Louis Poon its treasurer.

Bhuya received 686 votes, 27.63% of votes for president; Hannigan received 822 votes, 33.75% of votes for vice president; and Poon received 750 votes, 24.02% of votes for treasurer. Each of the winners led their next closest opponent by more than 100 votes.

Upon learning of their victory Friday afternoon, the three cheered and hugged friends and supporters who had gathered to await the election results.

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Louis Poon and Killian Hannigan celebrate their SA e-board election victories on Friday. 

They say they will work alongside the current executive board to begin implementing their policy goals as soon as possible.

“The tough thing about SA elections is that you only really get to get started in the fall semester, but with our rapport with the current e-board, I think we can get our stuff moving,” Hannigan said.

“The earlier we start, the better things will be,” Poon said.

The three ran on promises to open lines of communication and foster stability within the organization, which represents UB’s 20,761 undergraduate students and governs most of UB’s student clubs and organizations.

Bhuya and Hannigan have worked at SA for three years. Bhuya is SA’s production director, leading a department he helped create, and Hannigan is the chief of staff. Hannigan and Poon hold executive positions in UB Improv and the Asian American Student Union, respectively. In a Spectrum interview last week, they cited their experience in SA and club leadership as a key selling point for their party.

In addition to improving communication and creating stability, the three aim to rework SA’s signature Fest concerts into more, smaller concerts with a variety of genres and to lobby UB’s administration to improve its treatment of club sports.

Each of the three will undergo training alongside their predecessor: Bhuya will train with current SA President Becky Paul-Odionhin, Hannigan with Vice President Gracie McDowell and Poon with Treasurer Unnati Agarwal. Mandatory training for executive officers was one of Paul-Odionhin’s campaign promises when she won reelection last year, and she told The Spectrum that each candidate will receive training tailored to their individual traits.

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SA e-board candidates and their supporters await election results on Friday. 

The three winners expressed relief that elections were over, and commended their fellow candidates on a race well run.

“That was the most stressful week of my life, and I never want to do it again,” Bhuya said. “It was more competition than we ever expected. Last year, I was helping Paul and Pang with their election run, and there were 1,400 votes total. [This year,] me and Killian went down to Tom Vane’s office on the first day and there were like 1,400 already.” 

“That was a good run,” Hannigan said. “That was so fun. That was stressful as hell.”

Alisha Allison contributed to the reporting of this story.

Sol Hauser is the senior news editor and can be reached at sol.hauser@ubspectrum.com 

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