The Student Association (SA) has solidified its executive board for the 2019-20 academic year after more than 2,000 students voted in student government elections on Tuesday.
According to unofficial election results, Emma Ross, a junior double-majoring in political science and psychology, carried the president’s race, with about 76 percent of voters designating her as their first choice, one of the largest margins for an opposed candidate in the history of SA elections. Ross, who currently serves as the speaker of SA Congress and received endorsements from Pipe Dream, Newing College, Hinman College, College-in-the-Woods, Mountainview College, the Hillside and Susquehanna communities and Off-Campus College Council, will replace current SA President Jerry Toussaint next fall.
She will be joined by several uncontested candidates, including Erin Bishop, a junior majoring in economics, who will serve as executive vice president, Alec Somerstein, a junior double-majoring in mathematics and business administration, who was elected Tuesday as the vice president for finance, Khaleel James, a sophomore double-majoring in economics and human development, who will serve as the vice president for multicultural affairs and John Santare, a junior majoring in biology, who will be the vice president for academic affairs next year.
The vice president for programming race had the tightest margins, with Christopher Wright, a junior double-majoring in economics and political science, securing a victory with 53.59 percent of the vote. The runner-up, Jillian Pizzuto, a junior majoring in Spanish, received 814 votes after the SA’s Elections and Judiciary Committee determined the race with a second-choice runoff count, taking the votes that selected Lillian Carr, a sophomore majoring in economics, as a first choice, and dividing them among the candidates selected as their second option, both of whom saw more support in the first-choice runoff.
The race for the student representative position in the Binghamton University Council was also somewhat competitive, with Franklin Richards, a first-year graduate student studying public administration, ultimately winning the spot. Richards received 1,573 votes, approximately 56.48 percent of the ballots cast.
This year, however, the election saw fewer voters than usual. According to the Elections and Judiciary Committee, 2,062 students cast ballots, an almost 800-person decrease from the 2,855 voters that participated last year.
Angela Alvarez, a sophomore majoring in biology, said she didn’t vote in the election, and said the low turnout could be because the elections weren’t heavily publicized. According to Alvarez, even if she had voted, she felt she would have been uninformed because she’s not familiar with the SA or how it is run.
“I had no idea,” Alvarez said. “I didn’t even know it was elections.”
Election results will be confirmed by SA Congress at its next meeting, which will be held on March 25.