‘A Change in U’ takes election

Hard work has paid off for student government spring elections ticket “A Change in You…’Cause it’s time.” After six days of relentless campaigning-three for elections and three for the elections run-offs- Mike Johnston, Justin Levine and Mahala Dar have come out victorious, winning the titles of SG President, Vice President and Treasurer, respectively.

All three candidates were involved in run-offs after last week’s Monday-Wednesday election. They had each gotten the most votes in the first election, but by less than 51 percent of the votes – which by SG Elections Commission rules – is not enough.

Johnston, a junior majoring in industrial engineering, beat competitor JD Barbosa by over 100 votes- 516 – 386.

Levine, a junior in marketing and law, defeated Gina Yacone 491-407, and Dar had 500 votes to Martinique Busino’s 377.

The team’s platform included: increased lighting on pathways on campus; regulating the amount of edition changes in textbooks; creating a new senate seat for the Volunteer Service Center; changing the regulations for on-campus social events; and expanding IBISride shuttle service to Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

“Our platform ideas are concrete ideas that can actually happen,” Johnston told the Hurricane. “We don’t want to beat around the bush, we want to get things done. We don’t want to waste time talking; we’re going to have our ideas become a reality.”

Johnston has had over three years experience in student government as freshman senator, Chief of Staff, and Speaker of the Senate. He is also the student representative on the Board of Trustees.

He has been instrumental in implementing a pilot recycling program in Hecht Residential College, the IBISride shuttle service to Coconut Grove, and the renovations to Hecht/Stanford Residential Dining Hall, which will begin in May.

Levine was not previously involved in student government, but he is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and has served on the Greek judicial board.

“The same students are always running for office and there should be more diversity when it comes to those who represent the student body,” Levine said. “I’m not here for a resume, I’m not here for any financial aid, I’m here to make a change.”

Dar, a sophomore majoring in criminology, was SG sophomore senator, prior to her new position as treasurer.

Johnston and Levine were at the Rock all day Monday through Wednesday this week, handing out flyers and encouraging UM students to vote. The only other campaigners around were for Barbosa.