The Undergraduate Association released the results, but not the individual vote tallies, of its fall Senate and 2013 Class Council elections on Saturday. A little over a quarter of undergraduates voted. Danielle A. Class and Amanda C. David were elected President and Vice President, respectively, of an all-female, all-sorority Class of 2013 Council. In a special election, Sojung C. Lee was elected Class of 2011 treasurer.
Twenty-eight senators were also elected. Nine were write-ins. All candidates for senator who officially registered with the UA before the deadline were elected.
The eight-member 2013 Class Council is composed solely of women, all of whom belong to either Kappa Alpha Theta or Sigma Kappa.
Five Class Council members are sisters in Kappa Alpha Theta: Danielle A. Class, president; Nancy Z. Chen co-social chair; Jamie J. Kang and Veronica L. Barrera, co-publicity chairs; and Claire A. Frigo, treasurer.
The remaining three Council members are sisters in Sigma Kappa: Annabeth Gellman, co-social chair; Bahar B. Shah, secretary; and Amanda C. David, vice president.
In order to “preserve the privacy of all candidates,” elections chair Sun K. Kim ’11 declined to release specific candidate totals. It will remain unknown how many votes each candidate received and how close the races were.
The Election Commission “believe[s] there is little benefit from releasing the results,” Kim wrote in an e-mail. The Commission will, however, keep all the information on the UA server in the event of an official complaint, Kim wrote.
Voter turnout was slightly higher this year: 28.2 percent of undergraduates voted, up from 20 percent last fall. Kim attributes the higher turnout to increased awareness and interest.
The election ran smoothly. “There were no mishaps, no official violations. Everything ran as planned.” Kim wrote. Also: “Naked Abe Lincoln won Bexley, as expected.”
Senators share ideas, concerns
Out of twenty-eight senators elected in total, nine were write-in candidates. No official candidate lost. Many races had more Senate seats than candidates running; the four newly elected senators of Baker and New House were both were write-in candidates as there were no official candidates running for those dormitories.
In e-mail correspondences with The Tech, several new senators expressed their hopes and plans.
The ILG senator, Alex R. Schwendner G, wants to improve transportation to off-campus housing, writing that he intends to work with the MIT Transportation Office to improve Saferide schedules and NextBus.
Baker senator Janet Li ’12 wrote that she is concerned about vandalism and crime near campus. She cited recent robberies, as well as a tee-peeing incident that has put Baker into a difficult situation: “Someone took all of the toilet paper in Baker and used it to tee-pee the building,” Li wrote. “Our house manager has refused to restock toilet paper until the perpetrator fesses up … we need to seriously improve Baker’s security.”
Samuel Rodarte ’12, the reelected senator for the Phoenix Group, wrote that he wanted to guide dining policy. “I hope to continue my involvement in the implementation of a new MIT dining system and how this will affect us once we hopefully move into W1.”
Senators this year are also focused on reducing the impact budget cuts have on undergraduates.
Samantha G. Wyman ’11, one of the two senators from Burton-Connor, expressed her excitement for the new year but that many issues needed to be discussed; “This is a big year for student government. We saw a lot of budget cuts we didn’t like last year, and they’re only going to keep coming. Hate being stuck in a forced triple?… Do you care if drop date is earlier? If they limit printing in Athena clusters? If BC was closed for the summer? If you weren’t guaranteed housing after freshman year? I do,” she wrote.
Next House Senator Jonte D. Craighead ’13 wrote that communication will be crucial as the administration starts cutting costs. “I believe it will be especially important that all members of the UA Senate keep their constituents in mind and in the loop throughout the difficult decisions of the coming months,” he wrote.
The new senators met yesterday for orientation and their first UA meeting of the year.