Presidential elections go to runoff

On Friday, April 4, the Student Government Association (SGA) Elections Committee announced the results of the 2008 SGA elections; both the undergraduate and graduate presidential races have gone to runoffs which end today at 4 p.m. While over four thousand students took the time to vote, this is a significant reduction compared to last year.

For the results of the Undergraduate Presidential election, candidate Nicholas Wellkamp received 49.3% of the vote, candidate Brian Tyson received 36.3% of the vote and candidate Brad Petrick received 14.4% of the vote. Since none of the presidential candidates received a simple majority of the votes, a runoff election is being held between Wellkamp and Tyson, as those two received the two highest percentages of the initial vote. In the presidential election, 2606 votes were cast, and in the vice presidential election, 2501 votes were cast.

Undergraduate Vice President nominee Kaitlyn Frazier was named the new Executive Vice President, taking 79.5 % of the vote against Jason Middleton.

Coincidentally, the results of the Graduate SGA elections mirrored the outcome of the Undergraduate SGA elections. Linda Harley secured the Graduate Vice President position with 64.5% of the vote. The Graduate Presidential election will also go to a runoff, because no candidate received a majority of the votes. Candidate Aaron Fowler received 45.8% of the vote, candidate Andrew Shulman received 38.6% of the vote and candidate Michael Aaron received 15.6% of the vote. As the top two finishers in the initial election, Fowler and Shulman will face each other in the runoff election. In the presidential election, 550 votes were cast, and in the vice presidential election, 519 votes were cast.

Voting began on April 1 and lasted until April 4. Students who logged onto the SGA elections website elected their peers to fill the executive positions of Presidential and Vice President along with different representative positions for next year’s SGA. These positions included the representatives for the different academic majors as well as the representatives for the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes.

When comparing the turnout of this year’s undergraduate presidential elections to that of last year’s election, there is a drop off in the number of votes cast. The number of votes cast in last year’s presidential election totaled 4104, while 3804 votes were cast in the vice presidential election. This a difference of almost 1500 votes in the presidential election and 1300 votes in the vice presidential election.

Friday April 4 at 6 p.m., the results of the undergraduate election were announced to a gathering of candidates and students grouped in the Student Center.

“This is a huge relief. I really didn’t expect to receive 80% of the vote,” Frazier said after learning the results of the election. “I am really excited to see this mandate from the student body. I am ready to start working once the semester starts.”

When asked about the voting turnout, which came in at under 3000 votes, Frazier added that she thought the number of votes was about the average received in the recent SGA elections, and that they can’t expect more until the SGA does more to encourage a higher voter turnout.

When questioned earlier this week, the presidential candidates Wellkamp and Tyson both concurred with Frazier’s assessment.

“Both parties are going to be starting at zero on Tuesday. This means were going to have to talk to more students. We are going to have to try to reach even more people than just remobilizing the ones we had before. I’ll be going to talk to more student groups… and will be talking to people on Skiles from Tuesday to Thursday,” Wellkamp said. When asked about the runoff election, Tyson echoed a similar sentiment.

“It has been a long two weeks…. and we’ve begun the planning for next week. I plan to continue talking to organizations, and also talking to people one-on-one,” Tyson said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to go to different parts of the Tech community. We also need to remobilize the former voters. It’ll be twice as hard to get their votes again, because we’ve already asked them to come out and vote once.”

A runoff election between the undergraduate presidential candidates occurred last year. The current president, Anu Parvatiyar, came in second in the initial election with 27.2 percent of the vote. She ended up winning the subsequent runoff election by 500 votes. The runoff election began on April 8.

Officers

President Undecided — goes to runoff

Vice President Kaitlyn Frazier

Representatives

AE Adam Weiss, Ganesh Nair

ARCH Jason Kuykendall, Miguel Arias

BIOL Alex MacDonell

BME John Dimotakis

ChBE Jina Kang

CEE Bailey Wright, (runoff for second position)

CoC Victoria Au, Jacob Paul

ECON Nupur Patel

ECE Stan Komsky, Parker Hancock, Vineeth Chander

ISYE Raphael Rose, Roshan Chandiramari

INTA Sean P. Wilson

LCC Christopher Cassidy

MGT Andrew Williams, Corey Boone, Chris McHargue

MSE David Soracco

ME Charles Allen Shoemaker, Chet Campbell,

Sahil Kumar Batta

PHYS Will Boyd

PTFE Anne Campeau

PubP Kristie Champlin

Co-op (Fall) Ryan Leary

Freshman Travis Horsley (class pres.), Michael Reyn- olds, Daniel Nussenbaum, Michael Paravak

Sophomore Brian-Paul Gude (class pres.), Nancy Bota, Carlos A. D’Almeida, Paige Cruver

Junior Andy Jones (class pres.), Alina Staskevicius, Christopher Herron, Samar Al-Kawas

Senior Charlene D’Souza (class pres.), Varud Prasad, Rishabh Singhania, Aayush Daftari