Narrow margins mark spring SU election results

| News Editor

A mixed slate took Senior Class Council and two groups failed in their appeals for block funding despite majority support in the latest round of Student Union elections.

The results, announced Tuesday afternoon, represent the votes of nearly 41 percent of the undergraduate student body, making the election the most competitive in recent memory.

In addition to casting decisions on four block funding appeals, students elected the (U)nity slate for next year’s Student Union executive board and voted on Olin Business Council and class council officers, nine Treasury members and 10 senators.

In an upset, the YOLO (You Only Live Once) and Top Gun slates split positions for Senior Class Council—with juniors J.R. Davis and Justin Nicks winning president and vice president for YOLO and Eric Hamblett, Jennifer Ibe and Pavi Anand winning positions for external vice president, secretary and treasurer for Top Gun slate, respectively.

Hamblett won his position by one vote and Anand by five.

“There hasn’t been a mixed slate since I’ve been here; I’ve been here three years,” election commissioner, junior Sarah Rubin said. “I think senior class council was extremely visible and all 10 people were very qualified and very well connected around campus in different ways.”

Davis voiced disappointment at his fellow slate members’ downfalls, but said the senior class should still expect an exciting year from its class council.

“Everyone who ran is really passionate and excited and had really good ideas at the end of the day, so no one should have any doubts…[that] Senior Class Council’s going to do great things,” he said. “I understand this in unconventional…but I don’t think it’s going to take away from the great things we’ll be able to do.”

Beyond having a mixed slate win the election, Rubin said having 2556 of Washington University’s 6235 eligible undergraduate voters participate—an increase of more than 500 voters from last spring—is particularly noteworthy.

“The average for voting in student union elections for a school is 20 to 30 percent,” Rubin said. “People can look at these elections and see how important it is to vote in a student election—someone lost by one vote.”

Appeals for block funding were similarly contentious, with KWUR, Washington University’s student-run radio station and the Student Sustainability Fund, each receiving about 64 percent of the vote, just shy of the 2/3 majorities required. Both S.A.R.A.H. and Habitat for Humanity succeeded in their appeals for block funding.

“It was kind of heartbreakingly disappointing to be right at the line, but…it is great to see a clear majority of students expressing a support for KWUR,” senior Robert Ling III, treasurer for KWUR, said. “It just means we’re going to have to re-prioritize; I still think we’ll be able to accomplish a couple of our ambitious goals, but we won’t be able to accomplish everything that we wanted to.”

“I feel pretty confident that we’ll be able to accomplish some of our main goals, like upgrading,” he added. “We’re just going to have to go through the standard appeals process.”

Of the nine students elected to SU Treasury, two won their seats from abroad.

“It just really involved getting my name out there,” junior Sara Elster, currently studying in Madrid, Spain, said. “It really involved having all of my friends invite all of the people they know on campus [to the Facebook group].”

“It was kind of terrifying to just leave it as a Facebook group and just come home and see the results,” she said.

All uncontested elections, including Junior Class Council, went to the sole competitors. Slate Louis 2.0 defeated the Justice Leage slate for Sophomore Class Council.

Sophomore Matt Re, voted vice president of administration with the (U)nity slate, said the heightened student interest in Student Union is a positive sign looking into the coming year.

“I hope to continue this momentum to future elections,” he said. “It’s exciting.”

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