Caity Leu defeated Derek Grosso to become next year’s Student Association executive vice president Thursday, receiving 51 percent of the vote in a runoff election.
Leu said she is simply relieved the SA elections finally are over.
“At 9 p.m., it was over,” she said. “I had my life back. I could go study for my tests. I could go get some sleep.”
Leu received 725 votes to Grosso’s 684 to win with about 49 percent of the vote. Leu and Grosso faced off for the SA’s EVP position after a Joint Elections Committee recount earlier this month. Cat Sadler was originally declared the second-place finisher, but recounts showed Grosso received more votes.
Grosso said he was glad to have a second chance at the EVP position, after the JEC’s original count left him out of the runoff, and will remain involved in his other campus activities. He said he is unsure how involved he will be in the SA next year.
Leu said she finally will get to rest before getting to work for next year.
“First I pass all my midterms . and I deal with everything else that I put on the back burner for the rest of this semester,” she said. “Find a place to live, find a job, things that are a little bit more important to my life than Student Association executive vice president.”
Leu said she was disappointed Alexis Rice, the presidential candidate with whom she campaigned, lost the race to Phil Meisner. But Leu said she can work effectively with Meisner because they are both senators from the Elliott School of International Affairs.
“I disagreed with some of the things Phil did this year, (but) he really did some great things,” Leu said. “I can definitely work with him. It’s not going to be a stymied relationship.”
Leu said because she and Rice had the “same core supporters,” her victory was “bittersweet” because of Rice’s loss.
“I was personally supporting her and I think she would have been the best person for the job,” she said.
Grosso said he was disappointed to lose because he and his supporters put energy in the campaign, but he is happy for Leu. He said his loss might be a result of publicity he gained after receiving anonymous threatening e-mails earlier this month in which he was accused of raping a girl last semester.
“A lot of people thought I dropped out of the race because of the (threatening e-mails),” Grosso said. “But I can’t make excuses.”
He said the University Police Department is investigating the source of the threatening e-mails.
Leu said next year’s SA has a lot to accomplish. She said one of the more important issues will be the planned split of the SA into undergraduate and graduate bodies. She said she thinks Meisner does not support the split, but hopes the process still can move forward.
“Phil’s going to have his input, and I’m going to have my input through the Senate,” Leu said. “We’re going to organize this thing.”
Leu said next year the SA will attempt to deal with its “major structural flaws.” She said she will look at overhauling aspects of SA work, including the financial allocation process.
Leu said she was disappointed by the negative campaigning that marred the election. But for now, Leu said she needs to finish her own work and then attend to the business of next year’s SA.
“I have a lot of finals and midterms that I have to make up. That’s my primary concern,” Leu said. “And then after that, Phil and I will talk, I’m sure very soon.”
-Francesca Di Meglio contributed to this report.