SA runoff proceeds without fanfare

The campaign scene on H Street Wednesday afternoon was a far cry from what it was two weeks ago during the general election, when the six candidates for Student Association president and executive vice president competed for students’ attention in Kogan Plaza.

This week’s runoff election between juniors Logan Dobson and Rob Maxim for executive vice president has been much quieter by comparison, and the traditional spots near the Marvin Center and Academic Center have only been sparsely decorated with campaign posters. Just after noon on Wednesday, Maxim – acting alone, sans the hordes of supporters that had lined H Street two weeks ago – handed out palm cards to passing students.

“I’m a little concerned about the general student body [turnout] because there has been less attention paid to this election,” Maxim said.

Dobson said he has been relying on word-of-mouth to get students out to vote.

“I’m certainly not running a traditional SA campaign,” Dobson said, adding that he “didn’t campaign particularly hard last time” and still got a good portion of the vote.

Dobson and Maxim were the top two vote-getters in a four-way EVP race in which no candidate garnered the 40 percent plurality of the vote required to win. Dobson received 27.8 percent, or 1,106 votes, and Maxim received 26.3 percent, or 1,043 votes.

Coming off more than a week of violations hearings conducted by the Joint Elections Committee over complaints filed during the general election season, Maxim said he wanted to wait a little before starting to campaign for the runoff.

A “record number” of complaints were filed against candidates this year, JEC chairman Jake Chervinsky said. Dobson and Maxim were each given one penalty for campaign violations. The maximum a candidate can accrue before being disqualified is six.

Dobson’s penalty was for having too many campaign posters on the Marvin Center, and Maxim’s was for not providing proof of the fair market value of an item he listed on his expenditure report.

Sitting out in Kogan Plaza, sophomores Lizzie Poniarski and Sarah Shulman said they both planned to vote despite not knowing very much about the two candidates.

Freshman Jeffrey Eng said he most likely would not vote, and only voted in the general election because a friend was running for a Columbian College of Arts and Sciences senate seat.

“I know people are running for something, but I have absolutely no idea for what,” Eng said.

In the wake of Jason Lifton’s election as next year’s SA president, the possibility of a Sigma Chi “super ticket” has concerned some members of the Greek-letter community. Lifton and Dobson are both members of the fraternity.

“You want two leaders who can bring different orgs into the fold and can bring different experiences [to the SA],” said Maxim, who is a member of Pi Kappa Alpha.

Dobson acknowledged the concern but said that he doesn’t think other Greek-letter organizations would be adversely affected.

“We’re not out to get anybody,” Dobson said.

Maxim said the results of the race will ultimately come down to the efforts of the candidates’ friends and supporters.

“It’s which face do they want as the face of the student body?” Maxim said.

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