Freshmen Candidates Fill Ballot, Double Last Fall’s Votes

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This past week, posters bombarded the walls and many Facebook group requests were accepted. It could be seen around campus that last week the Electoral Governing Board (EGB) held elections for the 2009-2010 ASUSF senate positions. As the official representative body of the students of USF, the ASUSF Senate, “oversees several funded accounts and services while providing leadership opportunities for all students.” This semester the senate had several open positions for any aspiring student leader. Some of these included: Freshman Class Rep., College of Arts and Sciences Rep., Students of Color Rep., and a new position, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning  (LGBTQ) Rep.The results of the campaign were announced Thursday the 24, and the results are as follows:

Lex Wochner: College of Arts and Sciences Representative (341 votes)

Joseph Watters: School of Business and Professional Studies Representative (98 votes)

Sarah Rainville: School of Nursing Representative (67 votes)

Jon Coon: Senior Class Representative (57 votes)

Carmen Kestekyan: On-Campus Representative (307 votes)

Naomi Meyers: LGBTQ Questioning Representative (80 votes)

Sofia Andrade: Students of Color Representative (112 votes)

Mekdela Maskal: Students of Color Representative (118 votes)

Mallory Browne: Freshman Class Representative (85 votes)

Evan Vaughn: Freshman Class Representative (107 votes)

Compared to last fall, voter participation increased by more than fifty percent. In fact, last fall only 4% of the student body took part in voting for the candidates and this year 10. 95% took part.

Freshman Chris Panaligan voted in the elections and was inspired from the Facebook friend request he received. He said that, “Technology definitely played a large role in these elections. That’s how I found out about the voting process here.” To him, all candidates were strong, but he was glad he was able to give his opinion on who should get the position.

One candidate, Lex Wochner, now the College of Arts and Sciences Representative, describes the election process as “an experience.” Wochner, a freshman politics major, had never run for a school position before entering college, but felt that college was a good time to get involved. He said that he “wanted the responsibility of representing his college.”

His background in politics started at age 12 when he assisted his father in lobbying in Washington D.C. To his constituents, he said “If you took the time, thank you for voting. I understand the importance of representing the largest college. If you have any concerns, feel free to address me.”

Erick Irigoyen, the video marketing manager for the EGB, has the job to reach out to students, especially the undergraduates and makes them aware of the presence of EGB and how they can represent the school’s voice. This year he was pleased to see how much attention the EGB Facebook group acquired.

Their goal this year is to reach over 2,000 friends in the effort to reach a wider audience and higher voter percentages.

For future elections, Irigoyen said, “Get ready because we are campaigning in February through April in which we will have spring elections. So be ready to vote!”

Twenty five percent of the student body voted last year in the spring elections that included the ASUSF student body president position with three candidates. This year they are hoping to increase that percentage even more.

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