Close race leaves winners undecided
Director of Union Affairs Jason Gray '10 will face off against Deputy Treasurer Justin Kang '09 today in the second round of the race for Student Union President after Gray gained 49.64 percent of the vote in the first round of Union elections, which ended Sunday night.Only one vote separated Village Quad Senator Michael Kerns '09 and Finance Board member Jordan Rothman '09 in the race for the Vice Presidency, according to the primary round uncertified results sent to candidates from the elections commissioner. Kerns led Rothman 360 to 359 votes, each receiving 25.7 percent and 25.62 percent of the vote, respectively.
Gray received 685 votes, ahead of Kang, who finished second place with 39.78 percent, or 549 votes.
Candidates needed to win over 50 percent of the vote to receive a mandate and win his or her respective election in the first round. Gray finished six votes shy of a mandate.
Executive Assistant to the Treasurer Tia Chatterjee '09 was elected to the position of Union Secretary over Ziv Quad Senator Justin Sulsky '09.
Deputy Treasurer and Finance Board Chair Max Wallach '09 won the race for Union Treasurer over Ryan McElhaney '10.
Students were informed that candidate for vice president Nelson Rutrick '09, the Union Secretary, had broken one or more election rules on the Union Web site.
Pyle said there were no other unusual occurrences to report. He said the commission gave out a few warnings throughout the election but he declined to provide any details.
Chief of Elections Zachary Pyle '09 said that Rutrick's infraction had concerned rule 1D of the election rules, which states that "no libelous or slanderous statements may be made by a candidate." The elections commission did not release further details on the case.
Pyle said the commission determined that adequate action had been taken, including the advisory notice, and that he did not expect any further action.
Rutrick responded after last Sunday's Senate meeting, before the end of the first round of voting, that "false accusations like this are why I'm running for vice president," and declined to comment further.
Rutrick finished third in the race, ahead of Senator for the Class of 2009 Julia Sferlazzo and Senator-at-Large Andrew Brooks '09.
Gray stressed last week that as president he wants to lead a team that is dedicated to working for students by meeting with them one-on-one, as he had the previous year. He said he would seek student input for plans to renovate the Usdan Student Center, advocate for longer dining hours by building on the relationships he has developed with administrators, and create a more accessible Union Web site.
"I'm excited that the race is still going on," Kang said. "I have an extensive and active campus experience, I have a solid understanding of how club finances work, I have a strong and thorough commitment to social justice." Change could start, he said, through the election of new officials who could bring new communities into the government.
Kang emphasized last week that he would ensure Brandeis' commitment to environmental sustainability and social justice by establishing a sustainability fund, creating an environmental action plan with the city of Waltham and advocating for more transparency in the University's endowment.
"I think Justin [Kang] is a great guy," Gray said. "I believe that I can transform the Student Union so that it is about the communication and dialogue necessary for people to effectively complain, for the students to access their Student Union so that we can be advocates for them."
Kerns said he was excited by the outcome of his election and the support for his plans within the student body. "I'm the one with the actual experience in the Senate," Kerns said. "[Students] want a real connection with their Student Union, they want to feel like there are people that are really reaching out to them, rather than reaching out to each other within their own Student Union, and . that's the kind of change I want to bring."
Rothman said he expected the results of his election. He said he hopes, "win or lose, the difference in the final elections isn't as close," and called the result "representative of the fact that all five of the candidates appealed to different constituencies, so no one could get a runaway majority."
Candidates for member of the F-Board entering the second round are Senator for the Class of 2009 Yuki Hasegawa, current F-Board member Emily Moignard '09, Chief of Staff in the Office of the Treasury Jahfree Duncan '09, Julian Olidort '11, Nicole Cordero '11, Sara Enan '11, Sahar Massachi, '11 and Devora Rotter '10. No student announced a candidacy for the position of Finance Board member for racial minority students.
The e-mail to candidates indicated that an election date for that position will be set at a later time.
Other winners in the first round were Jon Kane '10 as Junior Representative to the Board of Trustees, Sarah Bernes '10 as Junior Representative to the Alumni Association, Michelle Barras '10 and Julia Simon-Mishel '09 as junior and senior representatives to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
Editor's note: Devora Rotter is the managing editor of the Justice.