No video game grudge match will decide who leads Program Board as its executive chair next year.
Brian Nathanson edged Mike Jewsbury for PB’s top spot, winning 49.95 percent of the vote to Jewsbury’s 48.85 percent. Only 20 votes separated the two candidates.
“We knew it was going to be close, but I didn’t think that close,” Jewsbury said.
As other camps gathered anxiously for the news, the two sat in a corner of J Street playing video games and talking. They had said earlier that if their race resulted in a tie, they would play a video game to determine the winner.
The two candidates have worked together on PB since their freshman year, and stood side by side as the election results were announced.
Nathanson is PB’s corporate sponsorship chair. He began his involvement with PB two and a half years ago as a general member.
“I’m glad it didn’t come to (the video game) because Mike would have won,” Nathanson said.
After the results were announced, Nathanson praised Jewsbury.
“I can’t say enough about my opponent,” Nathanson said. “He’s been a friend and a gentleman – and if it had been 20 votes the other way I would have felt the same way.”
Nathanson said he spent no money on his campaign. He did not poster or palmcard, explaining that he did not feel it necessary. Jewsbury postered but did not palmcard.
“I was not inspired to poster. My name does not lend itself to witty slogans,” Nathanson said.
Current PB Executive Chair Soraya Tabibi said the dearth of campaigning may explain the close vote.
“Neither put forth much effort into the race so people didn’t know who to vote for,” Tabibi said.
Mei-i Zien, who won the position of PB vice chair in an unopposed race, said the close vote shows how similar the two candidates are.
Zien garnered 98.11 percent of the vote. She has worked with PB since her freshman year, first as a general member and then as advertising chair. She now serves as political affairs chair. Zien also did minimal campaigning for her race.
“I was going to do posters, but because of Women’s History Month, I didn’t have time,” Zien said.
Nathanson and Jewsbury both said they felt not enough attention was placed on the PB race, but neither was sure what could be done to draw more notice. They joked about blowing up the Student Association for publicity.
“We could have had blimps flying everywhere and it wouldn’t have changed anything,” Jewsbury said. “We’re not political. People want to see the negative campaigning. They bitch about it, but they like it.”
Jewsbury said he will remain involved in PB next year, possibly as advertising chair again.
“I’m going to start writing my application now,” he said.