Elections pick SA, class position spots

After two days of class-wide voting, the Undergraduate Student Association Elections Committee and Student Association announced the results of this semester's campus-wide class elections on Nov. 15.

Freshman Nick Duell was elected class president with 43 votes against Lindsey Pundt's 32 votes and Chernor Barrie's 24. Douglas Weber garnered 69 votes to become the vice president, against Madeline Hope who secured 38 votes. Aurora Pierangelo, who ran unopposed, has been appointed secretary of the class of 2011.

The position of treasurer for the class of 2011, in addition to the SUNY Student Assembly position, has not been filled and will remain vacant for the remainder of the 2007-2008 academic year. As of late, USAEC Chair Bob Schwitter, a junior, is not certain as to who will fulfill the responsibilities of those positions.

Junior Kim Skeggs was elected class president of 2009 with 70 votes, against Ryan Lang's 39 votes; Bora Lim received 80 votes and was elected vice president; Erin Hennigan is now secretary; and Derman Ozdemir is class treasurer, winning 66 votes.

Jenna Hojnowski, who ran against Heather Katz, is now the class of 2008 class vice president, winning 43 votes; Victoria Briars was elected secretary with 54 votes; and Liwen Chen is treasurer. Jason Park, who received 158 votes, is now the director of student affairs.

This election marks the first trial of a reformed policy implemented by Student Association and the USAEC over the summer. The goal of the change was to reduce the number of write-in candidates and allow students to vote for candidates within their cohort classes.

According to Schwitter, there was a significant decrease in the number of write-ins this semester, "especially the jokes ones, such as 'Chuck Norris for sophomore secretary.'"

SA President Brendan Quinn, a senior, said that, "Not only were we able to fill just about every class officer position this year, there was healthier competition for many of the offices than we've seen in a long time."

One of the problems of this election, Schwitter noted, was the lack of publicity encouraging students to vote. "We could have received a larger voter turnout," he said. "However, this is also a minor election, with the major one being held in the spring. But, hopefully we'll be able to draw a larger crowd next semester."

To address this issue, Schwitter has appointed a delegated committee to publicize the election process in its entirety. In particular, Schwitter hopes to clarify the new policy for voting within one's cohort class. Under this policy, students have the option of notifying the USAEC approximately one week before elections if they wish to vote within for candidates within their cohort class, regardless of credit hours.

"Come next March, I'm optimistic that we'll see this level of competition on the ballot again," Quinn said. "If that happens, I think the students will benefit from having their officers in place well before the start of the next school year."

Kim Skeggs, the current president of the class of 2009, didn't find advertising for elections to be much of a problem. "I actually had a lot of fun advertising," she said. "I made posters and hung them up in the residence halls with my suitemates. I also spread the word through a Facebook event, which proved to be pretty successful."

Newly-elected freshman class President Nick Duell was also satisfied with the election. "I think that the election went smoothly," he said. "The Student Association office and Bob Schwitter were available to answer any of our [the candidates] questions and responded quickly."

The next scheduled election will take place the week after Spring Break and will determine officers for all positions for the following academic year.