On Tuesday, September 24, the Class of 2017 voted on their final choices for class president and vice president. However, the Student Senate Rules and Elections Committee has held off on releasing the results to prevent a miscount, given the close nature of the races.
This election followed a general election held on Thursday, September 19, to determine the freshman class’s representatives within RPI’s student government bodies. The positions open for election included president, vice president, Student Senate representatives, Class of 2017 Council representatives, and Independent Council representatives. While every position—except for IC representative—received its maximum number of nominations, only president and vice president were contested. As a result, the general election for the two positions served as a runoff election. Therefore, the election on Tuesday featured Storm Williams ’17 and Matthew Lynch ’17 as candidates for class president and Kyle Neumann ’17 and Shannon Gillespie ’17 as candidates for vice president.
In the general election, Williams took the first place spot for class president with 141 votes, while Lynch came in second with 96 votes and Jessica Krajewski ’17 third with 65. For the vice presidential campaign, Neumann took first with 160 votes, Gillespie came in second with 80 votes, while Connor Kilgallen ’17 and Alec Gemmell ’17 took third with 45 votes and fourth with 30 votes, respectively. However, because a primary was not held and enough votes were received by other candidates to split the vote, the election on Tuesday was held to decide the winners of the presidential and vice presidential election. The final results will be posted on the RNE’s Flagship Docs page as well as The Polytechnic’s website at http://poly.rpi.edu/.
Freshmen Joseph Venusto, Paul Ilori, Melanie Todis, and Krajewski were elected to serve as members of the Senate. They will be introduced to the rest of the Senate during their weekly general body meeting. Venusto was also elected to serve as a member of his class’s council.
Likewise, freshmen Karl Meier, Thomas Merkh, Lily Qi, Trenton Baldrey, Catherine Litvaitis, Michael Gardner, and Tiffany Licata were voted in as class council representatives. Meier was also recently chosen by President of the Union Gretchen Sileo ’14 to serve as the Class of 2017 representative for the Rensselaer Union Executive Board.
As most freshmen have not yet had the opportunity to fully join greek life organizations, elections for Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council representatives did not occur during this election period. However, Anish Ravi ’17 was elected by the freshman class to serve as a member of the Independent Council.
Although the Senate’s Rules and Elections committee did not provide exact numbers regarding voter turnout for the general election, the Class of 2017 saw a somewhat lower turnout than the previous class, based on the total number of votes for vice president—the largest vote total for any position. This decrease in turnout occurred despite the increase in overall class size reported by the Institute—a rise from 1,338 students to 1,424 students. The Class of 2016 had a 33.33 percent turnout (446 out of 1,338), while the Class of 2017—based on the total votes for vice president—featured only approximately 315 students, a decrease of more than 100 students.
For more complete data regarding the freshman elections, visit RNE’s Flagship Docs page at http://docs.studentsenate.rpi.edu/categories/357/. This page provides information about the election results, as well as a link to all decisions, warnings, and violations that occurred during the campaign period. For more information about RNE in general, visit their website, located at http://elections.union.rpi.edu/, or contact the committee via e-mail at email@example.com.