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Frosh Elect Hoff as President, New Officials Hopeful

By Shan Riku

The Class of 2006 has elected Jeffrey D. Hoff ’06 as class council president. The results of the council election were revealed Wednesday, after almost 500 freshmen voted online or on paper over the course of six days.

President-elect Hoff received nearly one-third of the votes, winning by a wide margin.

“I’m excited [about the results],” Hoff said. “I hope this year is good, and I’ll do my best to make the year great.”

Although he did not reveal specific plans, he said, “our class has a lot of potential. I’ll use that potential to do good things.”

The position of the vice president went to Raphael Farzan-Kashani ’06.

“I feel very honored that my classmates are so confident in me that I could help lead a class towards a great year,” he said.

The freshmen class “should be prepared for a really, really memorable year,” Farzan-Kashani said. “I can’t wait until we get down to business.”

Lam elected secretary

The only candidate for the position of secretary, Amy R. Lam ’06, received over 350 votes.

“I enjoy being a part of the class leaders who get to make the decisions throughout the year,” Lam said. “I would like to bring some fresh ideas to the [Undergraduate Association].”

The Class of 2006 Treasurer will be Brendan J. Smith ’06, who edged out Timothy C. Davenport ’06 by 13 votes.

“I really appreciate everyone voting for me. I feel really honored and flattered that I was chosen as an officer of a class at not just any college, but at MIT,” Smith said.

Eiman Faramarzalian ’06 and Zachary M. Skolnik ’06 won the publicity coordinator positions. They met each other in the Freshman Leadership Program, a freshman pre-orientation program, and decided to run for the position because they want “to do something for the school,” Faramarzalian said. “Eiman and Zack will do the best job we can. You know, nothing going on at MIT is ‘EZ’ [easy].”

The new social chairs will be Jameel S. Khalfan ’06 and Kimberly W. Wu ’06. They met each other in their dormitory and decided to run for the social chair positions “to make sure we have a very entertaining freshman year,” Khalfan said.

“We’re going to make this a wonderful year,” Wu said, in response to the election results. Khalfan added, “I feel good. Now, let’s party!”

Election method contentious

This year 472 of the fewer than 1,000 freshmen voted in the election, compared to 276 last year. The majority of the votes, 443, were cast online, rather than by paper ballot.

“It’s kind of cool that so many freshmen got involved with the election,” said Tanzeer S. Khan ’06, a candidate for president.

However, the election also called attention to the potentially contentious preferential voting system. The system allows voters to rank their preferences of candidates for each position. When votes are counted, the votes for the person with the fewest are redistributed until someone has a majority. As a result, the candidate who receives the most first choice votes is not guaranteed to win.

Treasurer candidate Davenport received slightly more first and second choice votes, but he lost to Smith, who received 18 more votes for third choice and thus more overall votes.

“That’s how things work,” Smith said.

Davenport said that “it would be better” if the voting system was different. “Everyone [should] just get one vote.”

Candidates review strategies

Many of the newly-elected officials attributed their victories to active campaigning. “I tried to meet people and see them in person,” Hoff said. “People respect it.”

“We had a catchy model and well-organized platform,” Faramarzalian said.

The other candidates expressed regret over their campaigns.

“I should have campaigned more,” Khan said. Still, he said is happy with the results of the election and would like to be involved with student government in other ways.

The UA election commission will have an election feedback meeting on Oct. 10 to discuss ways to improve future elections.