On Thursday, September 25, freshman elections were held for the election of the Class of 2018’s Student Government representatives. With poll sites in Commons Dining Hall and the Darrin Communications Center, the election garnered 380 valid ballots, representing 28 percent of the freshman class, an increase from last year’s turnout of approximately 315 voters.
Since the election did not have enough candidates to require a primary election, none occurred. Final results for the election were released Thursday night. In the final election, Kenneth Vetter ’18 won the position of president with 180 votes while opponent Kanthi Bommareddy ’18 received 135 votes. The expected candidates for vice president did not receive enough student nominations to be placed on the ballot and thus, the vote for vice president was decided by write-in votes. Sean Waclawik ’18 won the write-in vote over three other candidates with 46 votes.
The position of Class of 2018 Representative was available to eight candidates, however, with only four candidates receiving sufficient nominations to be placed on the ballot, four write-in candidates were elected to the position. Brenna Buckley ’18, Matthew Heimlich ’18, Harlan Grossman ’18, Chenjun Zhou ’18, Zhengneng Chen ’18, Yueze Li ’18, Gwen Diebold ’18, and Elliot Dorlac ’18 were all elected as class council representatives for the freshman class with varying numbers of votes from 194 for Buckley to four for Diebold and Dorlac. Justin Etzine ’18, Jennifer Freedberg ’18, Steven Sperazza ’18, and Keegan Caraway ’18 were elected as student senators and all received over 130 votes. The four new senators were introduced at the Senate general body meeting on Monday.
Many of the newly elected officials have specific goals that they wish to accomplish this year. Sperazza was excited to make more of a difference on campus in comparison to what he did in high school and he hopes to have positive impact on the lives of the students with changes such as an on-campus pharmacy. Sperazza explained that his “goal is to be a part of that and to contribute as much as possible to the process of making a difference as [he] can.” Vice president Waclawik also expressed his hopes to make a change and to make the community more united. He added, “now it seems like everyone has found their groups and are more locked in, so throwing events is a great way to get people to mix who don’t normally get to interact with one another.”
Including the election violations that were reported on previously by The Polytechnic in the September 17 issue, this year’s freshman elections saw seven violation decisions made by the Rules and Elections Committee. The violations dealt mainly with campaign material and the placement of posters by the candidates. Those in violation of the bylaws completed community service by poll sitting at the elections. The election also saw two warnings from the committee and according to the committee’s official releases, they reminded the candidates that only passive campaigning was allowed in dining halls and to promptly report “any defacement of posters, unauthorized destruction of posters, and any other forms of campaign sabotage” in order to keep the election fair. The full details of the violation decision and warnings and results can be found at R&E’s Flagship Documents page at http://poly.rpi.edu/47288.