On Tuesday, September 22, the campaigning for freshman student government positions began with extensive meetings, preparing possible candidates for the campaign and any rules that they would need to follow. At the final election on October 15, freshmen cast votes for 18 candidates for the positions of president, vice president, senator and class representative for the Class of 2019.
Since the election did not have an excess of candidates which would require a primary, final results for the election were released on the Student Government document site Flagship on October 20, 2015. The results for the election showed that Vignesh Babu ’19 won the position of president with 83 votes without any opposition. The vote for vice-president was between Evan Vengen ’19 and Prak Pola ’19 with Vengen winning with a final vote count of 111-62.
This year’s election for the four available 2019 senator positions was the most competitive of the four elected positions. Five candidates had managed to gather enough signatures for official candidacy on the ballot. The race for the senatorial positions was very close with only two votes separating the lowest two numbers of votes. Caleb Caraway ’19, Nancy Bush ’19, Cameron Riley ’19, and Wilbur Velarde ’19 were all elected as the representatives of the 2019 class to the Student Senate. The final vote counts for the candidates were 136, 125, 116, 103 for each candidate elected respectively. Yuvi Chopra ’19 also made it on the ballot and earned 101 votes but it wasn’t enough to earn a senate spot this year due to the competition.
The final elected position that freshmen voted on was that of the class of 2019 class representative. Seven candidates were listed on the ballot and all garnered enough votes to be elected to the post. Freshmen Pamela Pulla, Jeffrey Rong, Sena-Philipp Scharsig, David Tamir, Matthew Cabrera, Walter Barrutia, William Pfeiffer each earned a majority of the votes by the freshmen and were elected as class representatives. With eight available spots and only seven candidates earning enough votes to be listed on the ballot, the race for the eighth spot was tight. Three write-in candidates made a bid for the spot. Kinsley Rowan ’19 had 11 write-in votes over the other two candidates, Christopher Holler ’19 and Chirag Patel ’19 with 7 and 6 votes respectively.
However, this year, like many of the last years of freshman elections, unfortunately saw some of the candidates violate rules set forth. This year’s election saw two sanctions to the candidate running for the position of class president. The first sanction was against class of 2019 president frontrunner Rajas Nugpurkar ’19. Nugpurkar was banned from active campaigning other than placing posters. Since the Rules and Elections committee had determined that there had been several violations at once, they chose to warn the candidate that any further violations would lead to a disqualification. The second sanction of the election was another violation by Nugpurkar and was determined by the committee to be in a repetitive and disrespectful manner and gave the candidate an unfair advantage in the election. The committee removed Nugpurkar from the elections. Nugparkar was also the subject of a decision released by the RNE committee that determined that since he had not turned in a candidacy form and thus any signatures turned in by him were void. The full details of the sanctions and decisions can be found at RNE’s Flagship Documents page at http://docs.studentsenate.rpi.edu/categories/419/.