Dalia Hosn News Executive
The SRC elections for the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science ran in an orderly fashion and came to a close, Thursday, November 17. The results varied according to year and specification, with various Students At Work and Active Students dispersed amongst the different departments, and a surprising number of successful independent candidates. Due to a number of ties, the victor remains to be decided.
The results cannot be completely conclusive as there are still a number of seats crippled by ties. For the Agriculture Department, Sara Halawi won with 18 votes, while Mohamad Al Charif and Mohammad Salleh are still stuck in a tie at 14 votes each. Similarly, the Nutrition 2 candidates, Nisrine Kawa and Zainab Kauther Attara, are also stuck in a tie at 15 votes, pending reelections, the dates of which will be announced later on. It is interesting to note that Yasmin Naji won by acclamation for Landscape Design 3 and 4.
On the other hand, the seat for Agriculture 2 was taken by Hisham Hreitem, while Agriculture 3 and 4 was won by Mahmoud Sbeity. The Agribusiness and Veterinary seat was taken by Elie Daoud and Wael Darwish. Additionally, Zeinab Rammal won Nutrition 1, and Cherine Fawaz won Food Science 1. Also, Students At Work won in Nutrition 3 and 4 and Food Science 3 with Dina Sakr and Nadine Hariri, respectively. The winners for the Graduate seats were, Aiman Suleiman, Ali AbdelSater, and Karl Hilan.
Notable in the FAFS elections were a prominent number of truly independent candidates, among them the winner for Landscape and Design 1 and 2, Yara Barqawi. She was adamant in her assertion that she was indeed independent saying "I’m completely independent; I did my campaign, my flyers, everything, of course with the help of my friends." At the end of the day she was "running to stop the political façade and everything that has to do with corruption, 8 or 14," whether or not she will succeed has yet to be seen.
Rita Feghali who won for Food Science 2 was also an independent candidate. She explained her decision to run as such saying, "I decided to run as an independent candidate because I took my dad’s advice, he told me not to run with anyone because no one was going to help-me after winning. If they ask you to run in their name they just want to win." While conceding that affiliating with a student party would have brought numerous advantages, most notably financial, she didn’t "want to run for the name. I want to win as an independent, to prove myself, and prove that you can change," says Feghali.
Feghali’s race was especially notable, in that both she and her opponent, Helen Yachouhi, were running as independent candidates. A sense of unity could be felt in the discourse between the two candidates even in the heat of the elections. As voters filed through the polling room, Yachouhi’s pragmatism distinguished her. "If I don’t win," she said, "I will still work on [my] objectives because that’s what I’m interested in. I’ll still be there for everyone."
There were also those who were partially independent out of need and would have hoped for a non-politicized election process. Aligned with one of the winners of Agribuisness Wael Darwish, was Teddy Khachadourian, an independent candidate who was nevertheless aided by The Order of Engineers. Khachadourian said, "I am an independent candidate to a certain extent, I’m not 100% independent because at a certain point I do agree with others. But I’m not an extremist." Even Voters expressed their hopes for a non-political election, Omar El Khatib, from Agriculture 1 said, "It shouldn’t be for the politics in a university, but we’re still in Lebanon. This is the situation and it’s not in our hands."