In a marked change from last year’s heated Student Government elections, there was no talk of run-offs or election violations as the “U Matter, U Decide, U Win” ticket emerged victorious.
Student turnout was an extremely low six percent, down from last year’s 21 percent. This was expected due to the extraordinary nature of the single-ticket election, though both current SG President Brandon Gross and President-Elect Lionel Moise expressed dissatisfaction with the turnout.
This was the first time in nearly a decade when only one political party declared and ran for the executive positions. Moise, who was elected along with Kristen Weaver as the vice-presidential candidate and Jeremy Kruger as the candidate for treasurer, still campaigned during voting since his win, though likely, was not assured. Though the ticket was the only one running, “U Matter, U Decide, U Win” still had to receive over 50 percent of the vote. Moise was elected with 453 votes and 76 percent of the vote overall; Weaver received 90 percent and Kruger 91.
On Wednesday afternoon, the candidates appeared to be in good spirits as they campaigned in the final hours of voting by the UC Rock.
“[The single-party election] was definitely a different experience from years past,” Kruger said. Weaver said that while the experience was overall less stressful, trying to get students to vote was still frustrating.
“We want students to be involved because the choices we make involve all students, not just SG,” Moise said before the results were known. After his victory was announced, he appeared excited and expressed gratitude to his supporters and the entire student body.
“We’re very excited. We were a little worried, but we’re excited to work and we hope the students will support us in our endeavors,” Moise said.
The “U Matter, U Decide, U Win” platform included initiatives such as implementing online ticketing for athletics events, increasing Green U programs around campus, improving campus security and expanding quiet zones in the Otto G. Richter Library. One proposal, the idea of removing trays from residential dining halls, was met with derision from some students.
Moise said that while he understands that the idea of tray-less dining facilities would inconvenience some students, he still believes in the venture overall. He suggested introducing it slowly, perhaps through “Tray-less Tuesdays” or eliminating trays during breakfast and lunch.
“We’re mindful of the economic situation, but a lot of money will be saved by implementing these programs,” Moise said. He believed that the addition of a movie rental service in the UC would be one of the first things implemented once he takes office, though he was more cautious about predicting success for many of the other facets of the platform.
“Obviously [the election] was very different from last year,” Gross said. “I have the utmost respect for all three and know they will do an outstanding job. I wish them the best of luck.”
Gross anticipates an “extremely smooth” transition, attributing that to the fact that Moise served as his chief of staff. While he viewed the low turnout as “disappointing,” he has extremely high hopes for the newly-elected executive board.
“Six percent may have voted but I think 100 percent of the students will be satisfied with the job they do,” Gross said.
The full results from the Spring 2009 Student Government election::
Spring 2009 Detailed Elections Results