Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Khuri: “No society that has so many outstanding, passionate citizen students willing to exercise and be responsible for exercising their democratic responsibilities so fervently should ever despair"
The American University of Beirut student elections for this academic year took place on October 21, 2022. Students of the university proved once again their trust in the university's electoral system, through their participation in the election of the Student Representative Council (SRC) and the University Student Faculty Committee (USFC).
This year, 192 candidates nominated themselves as student representatives and members of the governing body, and over 58 percent of the student body eligible to participate, registered to vote for their respective faculties between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm Beirut time on elections day.
“It is always heartening to see our students voting so passionately and in large numbers: more than half of eligible students actually voted in this election. Every year we hold these elections, we are encouraged and inspired by the passion and commitment that our students at the American University of Beirut bring to these elections. In spite of how strongly they feel, there were no acts of violence or intimidation," said American University of Beirut President Fadlo Khuri.
“I commend Dean of Student Affairs Nayla Al-Akl, her extraordinary team and the outstanding team from IT for the magnificent job they did to ensure that the elections were conducted freely, fairly, and safely in a period when so many things in this country are uncertain. I reiterate that no society that has so many outstanding, passionate citizen students willing to exercise and be responsible for exercising their democratic responsibilities so fervently should ever despair," Khuri added.
Campaigns were held in a sophisticated and democratic fashion over three days prior to the elections and concluded on Wednesday October 19. The traditional and dynamic annual Outlook debate took place on Tuesday at 4:00-6:00 pm outside the American University of Beirut's West Hall, where the candidates made their proposals and defended their arguments, addressing their fellow students as potential voters and answering questions from members of the university's community.
“Student elections are important to us as they ensure that student voices are heard and that students are part of the university governance," commented Dean of Student Affairs at the American University of Beirut Nayla Al-Akl.
The university student government is a platform for expression, discussion, and action pertaining to student matters. It represents students as it serves as a liaison between them and the university administration; and allows for democracy, transparency, and accountability.
“The job of representing peers is not an easy one, but rather a complex process that requires high leadership skills and the ability to listen, understand, and contextualize the issues at hand. It also requires commitment and dedication in order to successfully develop simple concepts and ideas into innovative approaches that will lead to long term change," said Al-Akl.
The smooth and impeccable elections process was held online for voters and candidates in Lebanon and around the world, from registration to validation, and from nomination, to election, to announcing the results. The transparent, secure, and error-free electronic voting process guaranteed that every eligible student could vote regardless of their presence on campus, that no one could vote twice, and that the voting happened in a completely secure environment. All voting records were stored in a database in a format that is not editable through the system, showing the date, time, and location of the votes.
The results were out at 6:00 pm, shortly after the end of voting, and were announced via the Office of Student Affairs website. The cabinets for both the SRC and USFC will be elected in the coming few days.
More information about elections and results can be found here.