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Kirkland elected Student Union president

By Tate Herbert
On April 24, 2012

Todd Kirkland '13 emerged as the next Student Union president, with 296 votes after the polls closed at 1 p.m. on Friday. The presidential election had a 32.85 percent voter turnout, the highest of the positions up for election. This figure is down from 44.16 percent last year.

The positions of vice president, treasurer, secretary, representative to the Board of Trustees, representative to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, representative to the Alumni Association, and three out of four Finance Board representatives were also filled, while the racial minority representative to the F-Board remains vacant.

Under the instant runoff voting system, students rank candidates in order of preference, and if no candidate wins a majority of votes after the first count, students whose first-choice candidate received the fewest votes have their second-place choice counted instead.

Voting counts continue in this fashion until a majority winner is obtained, and if abstain receives the greatest number of votes during a final election, there is no winner.

Unfilled seats from the first round of elections will be voted on in the second round of elections, which will take place on Thursday.

"I'm just really happy. I was really excited when I heard the news,"said Kirkland, who is currently the Student Union secretary, in an interview with the Justice. "I'm really looking forward to next year." Kirkland added that he was looking forward to "working with the Union to make it more efficient."

"My biggest hope is that he takes every single mistake that I made and does a better job and learns from them," said current Student Union President Herbie Rosen 12 of Kirkland. "I think he will."

Kirkland's opponent Dillon Harvey '14 was the runner-up with 234 votes. Joshua Hoffman-Senn '13 received 223 votes, David Fisch '13 received 195, Louis Connelly '13 received 99, and Steven Milo '13 received 69 votes.

Incumbent Gloria Park '13 was elected vice president with 572 votes, while her opponent, current senator for the Class of 2014 Ricky Rosen, received 486 votes.

"It feels really good. I was very surprised," Park said in an interview with the Justice. "I think [Rosen] had a very good campaign. It motivated me because I wanted it [the vice presidency] as well. I was very surprised."

As for her plans for her second term, Park said that she and Rosen '12 are "reaching out to [Director of Public Safety Ed] Callahan to see if we can have more trials [of shuttles to Riverside]." Park also mentioned donating more furniture to Cholmondley's and meeting with administrators to talk about other issues on her platform.

David Clements '14 won the race for treasurer, claiming 380 votes. Runner-up Sunny Aidasani '14, who is currently an assistant treasurer, finished with 288 votes, while Owen Voelker '14, also an assistant treasurer, received 160 votes.

"I am very excited to serve the Brandeis student body in this expanded role," Clements wrote in an email to the Justice. "I have already begun brainstorming ideas of how to make the Treasury more efficient, helpful and responsive to all the clubs on campus."

Carlton Shakes '14, currently an assistant treasurer, will be the next secretary after receiving 522 votes. Opponents Dean Kaplan '15, the current Massell Quad senator, and Derek Komar '15, the current midyear senator, received 147 and 139 votes, respectively.

"I'm very excited that everyone wants to give back and be part of change and improving connecting Brandeis," said Shakes in an interview with the Justice. "I'm ecstatic!"

Jack "Zev" Hait '14 was elected representative to the Board of Trustees, with 305 votes. Susannah Feinstein '14 received 211 votes, and current assistant treasurer Nathan Israel '14 received 193.

Lys Joseph '14 won the position of representative to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee with 742 votes.

Andre Ve Tran '14 claimed the seat of representative to the Alumni Association with 711 votes.

"I hope to create and advertise more events that are cosponsored by Student Union [and Alumni organizations] as well as continue to be a reliable intermediate between the Student Union and Alumni Association," said Tran in an email to the Justice. Tran also said that he hopes to build on the work of last year's representative, Destiny Aquino '12, on redefining the representative's position within the union.

Hait and Joseph could not be reached for comment by press time.

Elly Kalfus '13, Ajai Scott '15 and current F-Board member Paul Lee '13 won three out of the four available positions as Finance Board representatives, with "abstain" coming in third place and forcing the fourth seat to remain open.

"I was really happy to hear the results, and I want to start looking into ways to help F-Board already," said Kalfus, who received 229 votes, in an interview with the Justice.

Scott, who won her position with 154 votes, said in an interview with the Justice that she was "very, very excited about the opportunity and the position," and that she hopes to make "positive changes within the F-Board."

"We had a great year of cultural expositions and excitement this year as I served as the Racial Minority representative in the Finance Board," wrote Lee in an email to the Justice. "I will strive for greater things in the coming year," he added. Lee received 109 votes.

The abstain option also won in the election for Racial Minority representative to the F-Board, with Jae Jung '15 coming in second by a margin of 17 votes.

-Sara Dejene and Sam Mintz contributed reporting. 

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