Juliette Jabra & Youmna Mroue
Editor-in-Chief & Opinions Editor
Leaders of Tomorrow, Campus Choice, and Students For Change all tied in this year’s elections, retaining six USFC seats each, leaving one seat for independent candidate Sarah Farran, adding up to a total of 19 USFC seats.
The voter turnout this year was at 62.3%, almost three percent less than that of last year, which stood at 65%. Dean of Student Affairs Talal Nizameddin, Ph.D., also announced that around 5,200 students voted in this year’s elections.
Results were supposed to be displayed on a screen outside West Hall, but due to technical difficulties, Nizameddin announced them live.
“These are probably the most successful AUB elections ever,” said Nizameddin.
The USFC winners from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences were Yara El Assaad, running under the campaign Students For Change, and Myra Zeineddine, running under Campus Choice.
Contrary to last year’s distribution of seats, Leaders of Tomorrow and Students for Change tied in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences with two USFC seats each, while Campus Choice only scored a single seat. The respective victor names are as follows: Karim el Kabbani and Joseph Bejjani from Leaders of Tomorrow, Zainab Nasrallah and Mohamad Ali Diab from Students For Change, and Farah el Baba from Campus Choice.
As for the Faculty of Health Sciences, Alice Harb secured a seat for Students For Change and Mirvat Termos gained the other for Campus Choice.
Leaders of Tomorrow won the most USFC seats in the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, gaining three seats, while Campus Choice and Students for Change each scored one. The FEA USFC representatives were Moustafa Tabbarah, Saadallah Sarkis, and Joseph Matar from Leaders of Tomorrow, Mohamad Khalaf from Students For Change, and Tala Salman from Campus Choice.
In the Faculty of Medicine, Campus Choice’s Dana Naamani secured one seat, while independent candidate Sarah Farran gained the other.
In a statement to Outlook, Sarah Farran confirmed that she ran independently. Yet, the Students For Change bloc cheered when the Dean announced her name as one of the new USFC representatives.
For the first time since its inception, Campus Choice obtained a seat in the Olayan School of Business, while Leaders of Tomorrow and Students For Change each earned one, yielding a tie between the three major campaigns in OSB. The OSB USFC representatives are the following: Rami Zeineddine from Campus Choice, Kassem Salman from Students for Change, and Arman Khederlarian from Leaders of Tomorrow.
Speaking to Outlook, President Fadlo Khuri, MD, reiterated Dean Nizameddin’s statement and reflected a sense of achievement towards AUB and its democratic and safe elections.
“I think it’s a very good sign that 62.3% of students got to vote. The students, as you can see, exercise their voices very safely, and very openly. This is a very good sign for Lebanon.”
He continued by saying that, “The debate Outlook held showed that even folks who align with political parties have very independent views and so I want to congratulate everyone. I think this is a high watermark for the university.”
Tensions remained high throughout the results, with chants such as “AUB badda Campus Choice”, “Ah ah Secular”, and “AUB kella elna” being yelled by the three campaigns.
This year marks both the earliest student elections to take place, and the soonest that the USFC members will begin their term.