Web Update: Coalition for Reform takes majority of undergraduate seats

Posted Friday, March 4, 3:05 p.m.

The Coalition for Reform slate took the vast majority of undergraduate seats in this year’s Student Association election, which saw almost 200 fewer voters than last year.

The Joint Elections Committee, which oversees the SA elections, released the numbers Friday morning following an incomplete night of vote counting.

Freshman Matt Alderman, who ran on the Students First team, was the only non-coalition member to win an undergraduate Columbian College of Arts and Sciences seat. Slate members Tyler Huson, Casey Rose, Chris Rotella, Marc Abanto and Nick D’Addario won the five remaining Columbian College seats.

Another coalition member, Michelle Tanney, and Students First member Vick Vajaydeva took the two undergraduate at-large Senate positions.

Coalition for Reform took a clean sweep of the Eliott School of International Affairs, electing Elliot Gillerman, Daniel Balke and Carolena Boyce to the school’s Senate positions.

Kirk Halderman of the coalition won an undergraduate School of Business spot, along with Alexander Popowich of the Student First team.

The JEC was unable to release final vote tallies for the undergraduate seats last night due to a computer glitch that prevented the oversight body from accessing certain candidates’ votes.

“We knew it was going to be too close to call without the final online vote tallies so we had to hold off until this morning,” said Justin Neidig, chairman of the JEC. “No votes were lost, we just couldn’t see them online.”

During the overall vote counting last night, the JEC announced that presidential candidates Ben Traverse, head of the Coaltion for Reform, and Audai Shakour would compete in a run-off on Wednesday and Thursday. Neither of the top two finishers were able to garner the 40 percent threshold needed to claim an outright victory.

Friday morning, Neidig announced that Traverse received 839 votes, while Shakour was 12 votes behind him with 827. Third-place finisher Jon Ostrower unofficially received 478 votes, and fourth place finisher C.J. Calloway finished with 461.

A total of 2,807 students voted in the presidential race, a lower turnout than last year’s 2,990 voters.

Senior Shauna Alexander, the campaign manager for the Coalition for Reform, said despite a low overall turnout, she is pleased with the Coalition’s success.

“We really ran a diverse group of kids that each brought out a strong base of support,” she said.

Alexander said Traverse’s graduate school endorsements were a major reason behind his first-place finish. This may prove difficult for him, since next week’s run-off election will be held during the Law School’s spring break.

Next week is also the period leading up to vacation for undergraduates, and students who traditionally leave campus early may not be able to vote in the next round of presidential elections.

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