15 Students? Association senators were elected Wednesday night, as 1,184 students out of a total pool of 3,900 cast their votes. The 30 percent turnout was a 14 percent jump from last fall?s election, when only 610 students voted.
?I was very encouraged,? said junior and election committee chair Joe Cacciola. ?It looks like [voter turnout is] on an upswing.?
This year?s election was the first time that the senate and the presidential election were held simultaneously. Combining the two brought more people out, Cacciola said.
Four of the eight senate races featured challengers. Only two elections failed to register any write-in candidates.
Four at-large senators were selected from a pool of six candidates. Incumbents junior Kris Kiefer and sophomore Adam Simmons were re-elected with 590 and 493 votes, while freshman newcomers Jack Collins and Kevin Gemp received 359 and 339 votes.
For the heavily contested Class of 2004 election, Peter Ordal and Ruthie Varkovitzky gained seats, beating out three other candidates. Ordal picked up 120 votes while Varkovitzky received 94.
In the race for the Towers seat, sophomore John Simons beat out freshman Stephanie Fitzpatrick by four votes with a total of 79.
Incumbent Lana Knox will remain a Class of 2003 senator. Elizabeth Conway gained the seat vacated by Seth Baum. Knox received 202 votes and Conway got 161.
Sarah Driansky and Daryl DuLong are the new representatives for the Class of 2002 with 144 and 131 votes respectively. Despite no declared challengers, 55 write-in votes were cast.
In the uncontested election for the Susan B. Anthony seat, freshman Joshua Gernold was chosen for the two-month interim term. Although 26 write-in votes were tallied, Gernold won handedly by 114.
Only the Hill Court and Graduate Living Center elections failed to register any competition. Megan Hannon?s 144 votes secured her the Hill Court seat for a brief two-month period while Ashley Edwards? 44 votes made her GLC representative through next year.
Some of the common objectives expressed by the newly elected crop are improvement of campus unity and nocturnal activities.
?I want to be more like a Duke and less like a Harvard,? said senator-elect Gemp. People stay in their rooms and there?s no food available at night, Gemp said.
Driansky agreed that students need services that better reflect their lifestyle. She recommended extending the hours of operation for Rush Rhees and Carlson Libraries during reading periods.
Hannon and Ordal mentioned the push for an on-campus video rental store and an e-mail system informing students that a package is available for pickup at the package store.
?The thing that I would like to see is services for the learning disabled students,? Hannon said.
Both Simmons and DuLong targeted starting online course registration.
DuLong also wishes to further work with the Students? Association Appropriations Committee to ensure that demanded on-campus activities are adequately funded and that senate continues its positive public relations swing.
Not as commonly discussed, however, was the impact of freshman housing. Only Edwards commented on the matter.
?The administration needs to make some improvements for students living out here,? she said.
Keeping students informed was a predominant aim with Kiefer, Simmons and Collins, all expressing the issue as one of their primary goals.
Junior class members also chose senior class council members this week with a total of 56 students turning out to vote.
?It was pathetic,? said current council president Emily Bones.
Seven of the nine candidates were elected to the committee.
Cacciola tallied the most votes with 42 and will most likely serve as next year?s council president.
?As long as no one has any qualms, I will take the seat,? Cacciola said.
Others elected were Brook Shuster and Joanne Wu, each with 39 votes, while Leah Wasserman and Brendan Vaughn won 38 and 35 votes respectively. Justin Spooner and Scott Rhodes both won 32 votes apiece.