The Undergraduate Association announced the results of the 2017 Class Council elections in an email to the class on Friday night, after a week of voting. The freshman class elected Liana R. Ilutzi ’17 as president, Sophia Liu ’17 as vice president, Pragya Tooteja ’17 as treasurer, Larkin V. Sayre ’17 as secretary, Frederick O. Daso ’17 and Nicole Lu ’17 as publicity chairs, an Evan C. “Charlie” Andrews-Jubelt ’17 and Mohamed H. Kane ’17 as social chairs.
This year, each position had at least one candidate running so that there were no write-in winners; a total of four candidates ran for class president, two candidates for vice president, two candidates for secretary, three teams of two for publicity chair, and the treasurer and social chair positions were uncontested. This is an increase in candidacy from last year when the secretary and publicity chair positions were only contested by write-in candidates.
More freshman turned out to vote this year. 45 percent of the 1,112 students in the Class of 2017 voted — a steady increase from 40.5 percent in 2016 and 33.5 percent in 2015. “Though I still wish the overall turnout rate was higher, I’m nonetheless very pleased with the upwards trend,” said Chair of the UA Elections Commission Leonid Grinberg ’14.
All new members of the class council reside on west campus; three live in Baker, and the rest are split evenly amongst MacGregor, McCormick, Next, Burton Conner, and Maseeh.
The residence with the highest voting percentage was McCormick with 58 percent of freshman voting in the election.
Though social networking and email communication were useful for campaigning this year, it was also important to some candidates to campaign in person. “During the campaign, the most important thing for me was to meet and make a connection with as many people as possible,” said Ilutzi. She also issued an open invitation for any freshman to come to the student center one evening during the campaign to become more acquainted with her.
Some other campaigning tactics that were utilized included sidewalk chalk that advertised the election and the placement of Munchkins on the tables of 8.01 classes with one of the candidate’s name displayed.
Goals for the upcoming year
Both Ilutzi and Liu plan for the new 2017 Class Council to host events that will allow the freshmen to get to know each other well and become a close community. “It is extremely important for us freshmen to feel support from one another and continue to meet our classmates,” said Ilutzi.
“I’ve noticed that it’s quite difficult for people living in East Campus and West Campus to really get to know each other,” wrote Liu in her platform statement. “Why not a cross-campus mixer?”
“I think the most important goal is allowing the Class of 2017 to be heard and represented at MIT,” Ilutzi added. “I told voters that I would listen to their suggestions, complaints, or concerns and address them in a deliberate manner. I intend to keep that promise.”