Burt beats Marootian in SA president race

David Burt fought back tears at the Hippodrome early Thursday morning after the Student Association Election Committee announced that students elected him as the next president of the SA.

After Election Committee Chairman Jeff Baxter read the results, Burt retreated to the back of the room and immediately called his mother and sister.

I haven’t cried like this in a while, Burt said.

Burt, who finished Tuesday and Wednesday’s run-off with 53.43 percent of the vote against opponent Jeff Marootian, found Marootian and embraced him. Cathy Resler was declared the winner, beating Chris Voss, for the executive vice presidential race.

It’s very overwhelming, Burt said. This was such a fricking close race.

Trailing Marootian by a nine-point margin following last week’s election, Burt managed to attract a large number of voters.

Marootian said mobilizing students during the run-off was the hardest challenge. Burt said it was not mobilizing voters that won the election for him, rather his campaign volunteers.

There’s nothing more gratifying than people volunteering and helping, Burt said.

Marootian missed the 40-percent hurdle required to win the election outright last week by 2.5 percentage points.

It’s frustrating, but I think it’s fair, Marootian said.

Marootian said he felt confident that he ran a positive campaign and said he plans to sleep and catch up on the work he has missed while campaigning.

I’m disappointed, but I know Dave will do a good job, he said.

Marootian, a two-year veteran as SA vice president of Community Affairs, was unsure about whether he would remain part of the SA. However, he said he would continue to be involved in the University.

Resler, an SA Senate veteran, said she felt relieved and overwhelmed following the election.

I’ve been campaigning since freshman year, she said. (Elections) are always the time when people are most annoyed with the campaigners, but it is also when we find out what problems students have with the University.

Resler defeated opponent Chris Voss. She received 55.55 percent of the vote to Voss’ 44.45 percent.

It’s tough when you have 19,000 students to get in touch with, Resler said. I became sick (last week) because I got food poisoning from J Street, and then I hurt my ankle while palm carding.

Voss, who arrived at the Hippodrome wearing a beaded necklace and a green hat, said he was relaxed. Though Voss said he was upset at the results, he was happy with his campaign.

My immediate plans are to go to bed for four days, and after I wake up, if I see my shadow, I’ll go back to bed for another four days, Voss said. Then I’ll wake up and make GW a better place like I planned to do.

Resler said that she immediately plans on improving problems within the Senate.

As students left the Hippodrome, Burt remained behind and talked with members of his campaign team. He already had planned his first job as SA president.

I don’t think the administration wants to hear it, but I will demand more money for student groups, he said.

Now that he won his election, Burt said he plans on relaxing. This weekend he will travel to Philadelphia to see the men’s basketball team in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. He also plans a trip to Atlantic City.

Despite his campaign against Marootian, he felt confident in their relationship.

(The election) hasn’t driven us apart, he said. I think it’s driven us closer.

-Francesca Di Meglio and Steven Postal contributed to this report.

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