Ten students were elected to the Students? Association Senate last week. From Monday, Oct. 1 through Wednesday, Oct. 3, the UR student body partook in the yearly fall elections. The races elect undergraduate representatives from each of the housing areas.
Senior Andrea Kay was elected in the class of 2002 race, the only class race. Winners in area elections were junior Stephen Duszlak from the Fraternity Quad, sophomore Eric Lunin from the Graduate Living Center, senior Ashley Conner from off campus, freshmen Monica Reyhani and Katherine Shen from the freshman quad, sophomores Andrew Baukney and Alex Voetsch from Susan B. Anthony Residence Halls, and sophomores Eric Danko and Matt Strabone from Towers.
Out of an eligible population of 3,850 students, a total of 393 undergraduates voted, or 10 percent of the residents. Junior and election committee chair Adam Simmons was not pleased with the results. ?[Voter turnout] was low, but it?s typical. Voter turnout should have been higher in areas like the freshman quad, where there were so many candidates to choose from.?
Candidates agree. ?There was not enough publicity,? Shen said. ?Only 300 people voted out of 3000. That wasn?t a lot. Also, voting was done on telnet, so it was really confusing, especially for freshmen who don?t know how to use the system.?
Conner agreed. ?I think there was plenty of publicity, but there is no way to make students vote.?
Some candidates also feel that the student population simply did not care enough to vote. ?I believe the amount of publicity for the election was adequate,? Duszlak said. ?However, a campus-wide voter turnout of only 10 percent, I think, can be attributed more to student apathy than anything.?
The use of telnet has become the biggest complaint of the election, with many people finding it burdensome and hard to understand. ?A lot of freshman might have not understood telnet,? Simmons said. ?They had lots of questions. There are lots of problems with telnet, but it?s the most secure method of voting we currently have to make sure no one votes twice or that there are no fairness issues.?
?Telnet needs improvement,? Shen said. ?Maybe just to have voting by ballot would be enough.?
The issue of telnet is not the only problem to arise from the past races. In two of the residential areas, Hill Court and the freshman quad, the votes were contested. ?Those two places were contested, but it?s typical since they had so many candidates running for a small number of spots,? Simmons said.
In the Hill Court race, two votes initially disqualified were reinstated by the All-Campus Judicial Council, resulting in a three-way tie between seniors John Brach, Pete Sanfacon and Sean Sullivan. A runoff election will determine the winners in that race, Simmons said.
Simmons was pleased with the freshmen?s participation. ?I am happy especially with the number of candidates from the Residential Quad,? he said. ?There was a decent number of people running and lots of really good people. Unfortunately, enough people did not come out to vote.?
?I?m happy with everyone who ran,? Simmons said. ?There were no illegal campaigns ? everyone followed by the rules and there were some really good races.?
Darnieder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.