Mistakes lead to confusing Union election results
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 01:09
Sixteen new senators were elected to the Student Union last week, in elections that were marred by polling errors and saw low voter turnout across the board, as no position garnered more than 51 percent of eligible voters.
One of these errors was that the Union announced the incorrect winner for the position of Off-Campus senator, according to a Justice analysis of the results.
Dean Kaplan ’15 won the election, with 20 votes, but the “Abstain” option garnered 23 votes, and therefore no winner should have been announced. In the Union constitution, Article IX states, “If abstain receives the greatest number of votes during a final election, than (sic) there will be a vacancy in the office until the next election.”
Student Union President Todd ’13 said that there was no “mal-intent” on the part of himself and Student Union Secretary Carlton Shakes ’14 in the running of the elections.
Shakes sent out an email to the student body late last night to apologize for the mistakes and clarify the situation. He announced that there will be a re-vote for the position on Friday.
Kaplan has already been sworn into the Senate, and in an email to the Justice, he said that he will appeal to the Student Judiciary, which will have to decide “whether or not the constitution allows for my removal by anyone other than my constituents or the senate.”
Section 7 of the Union constitution says that the Chief of Elections—in this case, Shakes—has the power to resolve election disputes and that his or her decision can then be appealed to the judiciary.
Due to a polling error, the elections for Student Judiciary and Brandeis Sustainability Fund Representative had to be redone on Thursday, a day after the first elections. Kirkland said that the original ballot was accidentally sent to alumni who graduated in 2012 and not sent to the Class of 2016.
There was also a revote for the position of Ridgewood Quad senator, due to a tie in the voting.
There were no candidates for the East Quad senator position, in either the main round of elections or in the revote round, so the seat was not filled. There will be a new election for that position in the next week, according to an email from Shakes.
Alexander Burger ’16 was elected North Quad senator, winning 102 votes with 43.6 percent of eligible voters taking part. “I am excited and extremely committed to making sure that no voice goes unheard and no idea is shot down without adequate consideration,” said Burger in an email to the Justice.
Jonathan Jacob ’16 was elected Massell Quad senator in the election with the highest rate of participatiop. With 50.3 percent of eligible voters voting, Jacob won 103 vote.
Biana Gotlibovsky ’15 was elected Rosenthal Quad senator, winning 32 votes in her victory over two other candidates.
In an email to the Justice, Gotlibovsky said that she was “beyond excited and honored to have been elected” and that her main goal this year is to “to spread a sense of unity and friendship.”
Shukai Zhang ’15 was elected Castle senator, winning 25 votes and defeating two other candidates. In his platform, which he sent to the Justice, Zhang wrote that he hopes to make the Castle “more habitable and an even more significant figure for Brandeis.”
Ha Raum Cho ’13 was elected Village senator, winning 45 votes in a victory over a handful of other candidates.
Daniel Schwab ’14 was elected Charles River and 567 senator, winning 19 votes as only 10.46 percent of eligible voters took part.
Daniel Marks ’14 was elected Ziv Quad senator, winning 37 votes in an easy victory with only one opponent.
Nicholas Polanco ’13 ran unopposed and was elected Foster Mods senator.
Andrew Chang ’16 and Jianqiang Yao ’16 were elected Class of 2016 senators in a race with a participation rate of 46.38 percent.
Dennis Hermida-Gonzalez ’16 ran unopposed and was elected Transitional Year Program senator.
In the revotes that took place on Thursday, Michael DeFeo ’14 was elected to the Judiciary, Owen Voelker ’14 was elected Ridgewood Quad senator, and Flora Wang ’15 and Padraig Murphy ’14 were elected Brandeis Sustainability Fund Representatives.
"I look forward to working closely with the Student Union, the various clubs, and any and all interested students on campus," said Wang in an email to the Justice. "I think I will learn a lot from this position, and I hope to ... contribute a lot to the campus."