The Students’ Association’s unofficial election results were released on Tuesday, April 7. Sophomore Scott Strenger and junior Ashley Haluck-Kangas two current senators are the winners of the presidential election, having received a total of 719 votes out of 1,425 total presidential votes.
The official results will be released on Monday, April 12. Information Technology must certify the election results, followed by a certification by the SA Senate. The election ran from April 5 to April 6, and a total of 2,878 voters vied for candidates.
Strenger and Haluck-Kangas both expressed excitement about assuming office.
‘[I am] ecstatic,” Strenger said. ‘It is an honor and a privilege to serve the student body in such a capacity. Within moments of hearing the results we began discussing our plan of action.”
One supporter, freshman Maddie Skellie, was satisfied to hear of Strenger’s election.
‘I think he’ll do a good job,” she said. ‘He’s seems to be a people person, so he’ll be able to talk to everyone and relay what people want.”
The opposing candidate, SA Senator and junior J.J. Gonzalez, lost by a close margin of 61 votes.
‘I was disappointed my ticket fell short by such a small number of votes yet I was interested in how close the election was,” Gonzalez said. ‘I’m sure there are a variety of variables that played into who voted and for whom in this year’s election. I hope my friends who won the election can use the ideas from my platform to satisfy my supporters, and I wish them the best of luck in doing so.”
Despite his expected loss, Gonzalez plans to continue on as a Senator At Large.
‘I was excited to have the most support in the Senator At Large election for the second year in a row,”Gonzalez said. ‘This result was interesting because individually Robert and I received more votes than our counterparts on the other ticket.”
Current SA President and senior Eric Weissmann also reacted to the competitive presidential race.
‘Both tickets ran a very tough campaign, and it is clear that voters struggled in their decision based on how close the race was,” Weissman said. ‘Scott and Ashley have a very difficult job ahead of them, but I am confident they will put forth the highest level of dedication, passion and commitment that is necessary to get the job done.”
SA elections also decide Class Council and Class Senate seats. There are five At Large seats available, three for Class Senate and eight Class Council sports. All unofficial race results can be found at the Hive at www.sa.rochester.edu/vote.
‘While we had some old faces running on the different ballots, I was happy to see some new faces from the different classes showing interest in student government,” SA Elections Chair and senior Lauren Sussman said. ‘It shows we have some students interested in this unique leadership opportunity on campus.”
One winning candidate in the 2013 Class Council and Class of 2013 Senate race, freshman Nick Lewandowski, shared his campaign strategies.
‘I think one of the best things a candidate can do is simply being pleasant and friendly,” he said. ‘By simply acknowledging people and always saying “hi’ I think you automatically get some support.”
Common tactics shared by most candidates included creating Facebook groups, hanging up posters and talking to individuals face-to-face.
The voting period has consisted of a three-day stretch for many years however, in the fall of 2008, the Policy and Procedure Manual was altered and the voting period became two days. The change was made because the Students’ Association found that voting mostly occurred in the first two days, making the third day seemingly obsolete.
The new election Web site and online voting system presented a few minor errors, but they were easily handled.
There was one small issue at the beginning of the campaign period where a class council candidate did not turn in their candidacy form on time.
‘There was a … situation with a class council candidate where they were late in turning in their candidate form,” Associate Director of Wilson Commons Student Activities Laura Ballou said. ‘[The candidate was] penalized by not being allowed to campaign, but their name still appeared on the ballot.”
With the election behind them, pending final approval of the tallies, the winning candidates can begin to focus on the upcoming year’s projects.
For example, Lewandowski plans to branch out to the UR community with Class Council and to make his impact on dining, transportation and health services.
‘Elections are always an exciting, albeit nerve-racking event,” he said. ‘So I was worried and nervous right up until I found out the results. However, now I am really happy to be able to serve the students again and continue my involvement at the UR.”
Ostrander is a member of
the class of 2012.