Pete Maki won the student government (SG) seat for president with the help of one of the largest voting turnouts in UM. The elections commission announced Wednesday at the Rathskeller that Maki’s entire ticket of “Power. Pride. Change,” had been elected.
A total of 1,967 students voted earlier in the week, one of the largest voting turnouts ever at UM. Maki, who also ran in last year’s SG presidential election, received 1,118 of the votes.
“It was a 300 vote difference and that’s absolutely incredible,” Maki said afterward. “I didn’t know that I knew over 1,000 people. I think that [the voter turnout] is a good way to show how public the people on our ticket are and how many people we’ll be able to represent.”
Reminiscent of the November U.S. presidential elections, the Rat seemed divided by a swarm of blue and red T-shirts during the announcements.
“I’m shaking still. I’m so excited and grateful to everyone,” Paula Georg, SG vice-president-elect, said. “The other team worked so hard as well. I just want to send a big thank you.”
Ciara Mohamed, SG treasurer-elect, was in class when the results were announced. Her campaign sent her a cell phone text message letting her know that she had won. Friends and supporters of the campaign shook hands and toasted one another over pitchers of beer after the announcements were made.
|SG ELECTION RESULTS|
Pete Maki 1118
Pamela Schiess 849
Referenda and Senators
“I think we ran a great campaign and I am so thankful for everyone who committed time and effort to this ticket,” Pamela Schiess, candidate for SG president, said. “Congrats to Pete Maki.”
“I feel they just beat us to the punch,” Aaron Brunner, SG candidate for vice-president, said. “They had better alliances than us. I thought we had a chance, but there must have been a lot of closet Maki voters. I have to say I’m disappointed.”
“It was a great experience,” said Gabriel Trujillo, SG candidate for treasurer. “It was my first year running, I learned a lot, and the best man always wins.”
Martin Cruz-Mesa, president of the elections commission, said that the efforts of the commission, combined with the campaigns of both tickets, contributed to an exceptionally high voter turnout.
“There was a lot of campaigning for people to vote and make sure that their vote mattered,” he said. “I think in general a lot of UM was proud to support their candidate.”
The outgoing Executive Board watched as the results were announced.
“I’m really excited that so many students came out to vote regardless of the number of candidates running,” Minal Ahson, SG vice-president, said. “It shows that the student body is getting more involved and aware of what happens on campus.”
Also announced were the SG Senate results and the referenda for WVUM and Confluence, the undergraduate humanities journal. Both referenda, which add $1 and $0.25, respectively, to the Student Activity Fee, passed.
“This is great, I’m glad we had so much support,” Chris Bennett, general manager for WVUM, said. “I knew the students cared, but I didn’t know they cared this much. I’m glad my feeling is reaffirmed.”
Confluence was originally denied a place on the ballot by the Senate, but was able to obtain the slot through a petition of more than 800 student signatures.
“I feel like I won an Academy Award,” said Christina Guzman, editor-in-chief of the journal. “I expected to lose.”
Natalia Maldonado can be contacted a firstname.lastname@example.org.