October 17, 2008

Four first-years snag College Council seats in competitive election cycle

This year’s race for first-year College Council representative seats was one of the tightest in Student Government (SG) history, with two of the winning candidates separated by only one vote. The winning candidates were the four students with the highest vote totals: Sohrab Kohli garnered 186 votes; David Chen, 174 votes; Chen Kuan, 147; and May Yeung, 146 votes.

Ten of the 15 candidates received over 100 votes. The margin between Yeung and the fifth-highest vote-getter, Chris Chavez, was only six votes.

“I am really impressed with the way these winning candidates ran their campaigns. They really put in a lot of energy and showed that they are dedicated to SG,” said second-year Julian Quintanilla, SG Vice President for Administration.

Quintanilla told the Maroon earlier this week that the race had become especially competitive because more of the candidates were running active campaigns than in previous years.

Yeung said she hopes to work to improve transportation issues on campus.

“I know a lot of people complain about transportation. I think we still need to keep working on that issue for the students who live in Broadview or the Shoreland,” she said.

In an interesting campaign move, Chen Kuan ran using the initials “CK” instead of his full name, using the initials on both his campaign materials and on the official ballot.

Kuan invoked Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in his own campaign. Kuan’s posters copied the cover of Obama’s 2006 book The Audacity of Hope featuring Kuan imitating Obama’s cover pose and the slogan “the audacity to serve.”

“Even though I cannot vote in this election, I really like Obama and using his inspiration helped me,” he said.

Sohrab Kohli garnered the most votes and owes his success to the friends in his house who helped him campaign, he said.

“I definitely won because of the people who helped me,” he said. “I am in a small house, Coulter, but they did everything they could to help me and it worked.”

Kohli’s resident assistant helped him make his posters and his friends helped spread his name by word of mouth.

“That works the most instead of who makes the most posters or who makes the most obnoxious statement,” Kohli said.

Chen Kuan said he is excited about serving on the C.C.

“Yeah, I’m pretty excited. We have put in a lot of effort, and now we got in,” Kuan said. “It is pretty natural to be excited.”

Quintanilla, who won a C.C. seat as a first-year, said that serving on the Council will be a great way for the students to learn about the University and issues on campus.

“It will be a great way to transition into a college career,” he said.