SGA election winners announced
While the Student Government Association (SGA) announced its 2009 general election results Wednesday, welcoming its senator-elects to its first senate meeting Wednesday night at campus center, several lingering issues kept the results from being ratified. Both referenda on the ballot passed heavily, with question two, concerning moving SGA elections voting online, sponsored by Derek Khanna, receiving 1176 “yes” votes and 270 “no” votes. However, due to poor wording of the question, SGA speaker Modesto Montero told the Daily Collegian commuter senator-elect Khanna will withdraw the referendum Thursday, before the election results are ratified, which Montero said he strongly suspects will happen.
“If it’s being taken out completely is something we’ll decide as we meet in the next couple weeks,” Montero said of the referendum.
The SGA’s Coordinating Council will meet tomorrow to ratify the results, which they were unable to do today because of one tie, which Montero said they hoped the two candidates involved would resolve through one stepping down. The Council will also debate how to address the online elections question, as Montero said the SGA supports moving elections online but decided this referendum would not be how that issue is handled.
Khanna said he strongly disagreed with the council’s decision to discredit the vote on the referendum, and only agreed to allow the referendum to be withdrawn when he was informed that the entire election would be nullified and held again based on the doubts about the wording.
“I did not agree with Modesto,” he said.
After being informed that the entire election would be thrown out, I decided I could not in good conscience be the reason behind this clear political move by the Coordinating Council,” Khanna said.
Referendum question one, which would create a waive-able $1 fee per student per semester to support the UMass Independent Film Production Club, an RSO which writes and produces student made films, also easily passed, receiving 975 votes of “yes” and 425 “no” votes.
In the senate elections, Southwest South saw the largest turnout. Ben Johnson won the most votes of any individual candidate, receiving 204. Daniel Stratford was a close second, at 203. From there, Catie Warren took third, getting 195 votes. Following her were Elie Feinstein, with 161 votes, Kimberly Garber, at 151, and Matthew Carr, who received 136.
Southwest North also saw solid participation, as Stephanie Rocha led the field with 172 votes. Erica Nyer was second, at 166, with Brandon Tower third at 162 and Leanne Brown taking 150 votes.
The Central senate will include Patrick Watson, who led all Central candidates with 154 votes, Kyle Howard, who was second, with 141, Andrew C. Prowten, with 123, and close runner up Michelle Sudan, who got 122 votes.
Orchard Hill’s three representatives will be Jared Rose, who handily won the most votes, with 171, Misbah Anwar, who got 121, and Nicholas Barton, who received 105 votes.
Northeast will send Melissa Urban, who easily won her area, with 124 votes, as well as Rafael Medina, with 67. North saw limited turnout, electing Andrew Dawson, with six votes, and Prateek Katti, with five to its two seats.
Sylvan also saw meager turnout, picking Ron Aylward with 23 votes, and Danillo Sena, with 20, as its two representatives. Michael O’Connor won Sylvan’s Lieutenant Governor spot unopposed.
Commuter students picked 17 commuter students, with a tie for seventeenth that will be resolved either by one student conceding or the SGA’s Coordinating Council breaking the tie, if necessary. The 17 commuter senators are Benjamin Levine, Melissa Sandefur, William Cody, Amanda Jusino, Charlie Felder, Chelsea Aquino, Josh Davidson, Tikaan Galbreath, Rudy Mahotierre, Tyler Langlais, Eric Magazu, Scott Aldrich-Holmes, Andrew Berg, Azeen Khanmalek, Derek Khanna and Jeremy Rumeld. Mohamed El-Ounsi and Kurt Kaschora tied as write-in candidates. One will have to concede and give the spot to the other, or the Coordinating Council will have to break the tie at Thursday’s meeting.
In addition to the voting, commuter senator elect Derek Khanna also filed a formal complaint against Sylvan senate candidate Brad DeFlumeri regarding campaigning e-mails he distributed which were not registered with the Chancellor of Elections. The complaint was heard, according to an SGA release, on September 29, before the ballots were counted. Two pieces of information were incorrect in the e-mails, the date of the elections, which the e-mail mislabeled as October 28 and 29, and the number of Sylvan senate seats. There are two, the e-mail erroneously claimed there were three. DeFlumeri told the Elections Committee the mistakes were errors and unintentional. Given that the elections were over, the Committee decided to take no action, stating that while the complaint was valid, it was not grievous enough to warrant action.
Sam Butterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.