Student Union releases results of fall election after two-day delay
Student Union released the results of its fall election Nov. 8, making the announcement three days after online voting, Nov. 5, in an unusually long delay caused by what SU described as a “technical error.”
Alongside the list of winning candidates, the Election Commission shared a press release Friday explaining that some voters were able to select more than 11 candidates for Senate and Treasury. Additionally, one student reported that they were unable to vote at all. According to the press release, this student then received another chance to vote.
Due to these difficulties, the Election Commission delayed the announcement as they worked to confirm that no one voted for more than 11 candidates and then deliberated on whether to nullify the election or proceed with the results.
Despite the complications, the Election Commission decided to move forward with the election. 11 Senators, 11 Treasury representatives and two ArtSci council members will be sworn in Tuesday for yearlong terms. Proposed amendments to the SU Constitution also passed including converting the positions of VP of Administration and VP of Public Relations into Executive Vice President and VP of Engagement.
SU declined to nullify the election, saying voter turnout in a redo would be far below the norm and result in a less representative legislative body.
Sophomore Bryan Peltier, who was re-elected as a Treasury representative, said he received no information about the delay, getting a call only to tell him that he personally was reelected.
“All I will say is that it could have been done better, obviously,” Peltier said.
Now that the election is over, Peltier and the other winning candidates say they look forward to working on ongoing projects and starting new ones after inauguration on Tuesday. Peltier hopes to use his position on the Activities Committee to change student group leadership training, which he said is mostly geared toward leaders of category one and category two groups.
Junior Alexa Jochims was reelected to Treasury after receiving the largest percentage of votes, at 49.95%. She said one of her primary goals is to ensure that the student activities fee is always used to create the maximum impact for students while also being transparent. She also wants to reevaluate the structure of the annual general budget session to make it less exhausting and to allow more people to participate.
“I’ve been on Treasury since my freshman fall, so being reelected for another term was obviously exciting for me, just because it means that I get to fulfill some of my goals that I’ve had over the past couple years,” Jochims said.
Freshman Miriam Silberman won the position of ArtSci Council president. She said she wants to increase awareness of ArtSci Council and to facilitate more student engagement with the body. Four of the six positions on ArtSci Council went unfilled in the election cycle.
She also hopes to readjust the printing budget (even for students who live off campus), improve communication between students and Arts & Sciences leadership and create inclusive programming intended to mix students from different academic disciplines.
“I really want ArtSci Council to become something that people want to be on and know about,” Silberman said.
Silberman is considering several options to fill the council, including making appointments or holding a special election.
On the Senate side of the election, freshman Amaan Mahadevan received the second-largest number of votes. Mahadevan hopes to expand access to meal options late at night, possibly through a vending machine system, and to work with administrators, the Washington University Police Department and other Senators to improve off-campus security.
“I’m ready to get to work,” Mahadevan said. “I’m going to work my hardest to make Wash. U. a better place for all students.”
Election Commissioner Randal Walker declined to comment.