The race for student government president is not over yet for juniors Christina Farmer and Shahzain Malik. In order to be elected to the executive board, a candidate must have 50 percent plus one votes of the total cast. Of the 1,752 students who voted in this election, UFirst’s Farmer received 749 votes and All for U’s Malik received 535. A run-off election will take place March 1-3.
“I think this is a good opportunity to get my voice out to even more students,” Farmer said. “We definitely had a strong following, and maybe now we can appeal to the voters who voted for someone else. Maybe we didn’t reach out to them in time and now we have an opportunity to do so.”
Malik hopes the second election will turn the tide in his favor.
“I’m very pleased that people at the University of Miami are open to international students and that they’ve given me a chance,” he said. “I poured my heart out and I’m going to do it again. I plan to create more awareness and I feel like a lot of people will change their minds because maybe now they’ll see how much work the international students have put into this.”
UM’s next treasurer will be decided in the run-off. Sabrina Bunch of Best U Ever Had, received 501 votes and Nick Cote of UFirst received 745.
“Obviously I wish my running mates were going to be there with me,” Bunch said, “but I think [another ticket] would be an interesting dynamic that would be beneficial for the student body.”
The only executive board candidate secured at this point is new vice president Valentina Lamas of UFirst who, with 854 votes, won 53 percent of the votes cast.
“My team and I have worked so hard and we did all get the most votes so I think all three of us can do this,” she said.
Run-off elections are not uncommon for student government, especially when there are three or more candidates. Although last year Lionel Moise ran unopposed, a runoff occurred in 2008, carrying presidential candidates Jeremy Crystal and Brandon Gross into a second round.
The rules are different for senators, who are only required to win more votes than their opponents.
The three open seats for commuter senator were filled by Henry Thomas, Anthony Lopez and Erica Barrios.
The two winners for College of Arts and Sciences senator were Joe Kaplan and Michael Kaplan (unrelated).
“One of the things that helped me was the fact that I had a list of things I’d already accomplished in the senate,” incumbent Michael Kaplan said.
Kaplan believes the new attendance policy may have appealed to students.
Lisa Seidenberg was voted Business Senator and Daniella Orihuela was voted Engineering Senator.
Jeff Brody will be the School of Communication senator for the third straight year.
“The thing I really wanted to focus on this year was trying to unite the School of Communication with the Frost School of Music and the Theater Arts department,” Brody said. “I think these are three areas of academics that really need to work together.”
Nina Ruggiero may be contacted at email@example.com.