NEWS

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April 28, 2006

A New Day tops Full Slate Ahead in SG election

In an election notable for its extraordinarily high turnout, A New Day Student Government (SG) executive slate defeated Full Slate Ahead by 137 votes.

Second-year Hollie Russon Gilman won the race for undergraduate liaison to the Board of Trustees, topping second-year Dan Kimerling by 36 votes. Anne Harrington will retain her position as the graduate student liaison to the board, winning a write-in campaign with 112 votes.

“Obviously, we’re pleased at how the election turned out, and we’re excited to get in and make some changes,” said president-elect Ian Muhlhauser, a graduate student in the Divinity School.

The newly elected leaders said they are eager to start implementing their campaign promises and expressed optimism about the high voter turnout of 2,417, which is nearly 1,000 more voters than last year.

“First of all, we need to definitely get working on improving communication on campus,” Muhlhauser said. “Obviously there is a need to get the word out that SG is here to work for every student—graduate and undergraduate.”

Muhlhauser, along with running mates Donny Copeland and David Courchaine, who will both assume vice presidential positions next year, also emphasized the need for post-election unity following a heated campaign. Copeland and Courchaine are both third-years in the College.

“We saw a lot of talent that came out of this election,” Courchaine said. “It would be a terrible waste to not involve those who didn’t win.”

There was, however, palpable tension at the celebration held at Hutch Commons Wednesday night between the winning candidates and the supporters of Full Slate Ahead.

“This whole winners and losers thing is a model we need to get over,” Muhlhauser said. “We’re not worried; we’re all working together now for the same cause.”

“Of course we were a little disappointed, but we have three capable guys now at the helm, and turnout was up, which is a good thing,” said third-year Phil Caruso, Full Slate Ahead presidential candidate and current vice president of administration on the executive slate.

Caruso has not yet decided if he will continue to serve SG in any capacity and said he needed time to recover from the campaign before he made any decisions.

“I have plenty of options. It’s definitely a possibility; there are many possibilities,” Caruso said.

In the meantime, A New Day has moved to begin instituting its campaign promises. It hopes to finalize changes to the campus bus routes in the coming weeks, launch a web-accessible calendar of campus events, and develop a communications team to gauge student opinion on SG.

“We see it as a fresh start to serving the interests of the students,” Courchaine said. “It can’t be a continuation of the same thing from this year, because we were dissatisfied with how things have been handled.”

The proposed constitutional amendment, which would allow College Council elections to be held in spring instead of fall, passed with a win of 1,707 over 456 votes.