2,039 students have spoken. The 2023-24 Student Association (SA) executive board is all but confirmed, as the Binghamton University council representative race remains contested.
The campus-wide election took place Sunday, March 12 through B-Engaged, where students were presented with a ranked-choice ballot. Alongside BU council representative, the positions to be determined were president, executive vice president (EVP), vice president for multicultural affairs (VPMA), vice president for finance (VPF), vice president for student success (VPSS) and vice president for programming (VPP).
The main challenges faced by the joint Elections and Judiciary Committee in managing the election were related to various “administrative procedures,” according to Christopher Ribarić, the chair of the committee and a sophomore majoring in accounting.
“In the past, this website has been buggy and prone to crashing,” Ribarić wrote in an email. “Luckily this year we didn’t have too many issues. Working in an election with so many moving parts such as the [Graduate Student Organization (GSO)], [Judicial Board (J-Board)] and the candidates has also been difficult, as everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to grievances, voting tabulations and the like. Thankfully, the issues that we encountered are nearing resolution.”
While results were originally planned to be confirmed at Tuesday’s SA congress meeting, Ribarić said the process of hearing and managing grievances from candidates has caused the announcement to be pushed back. Ribarić explained that the BU council representative race has seen the most delays due to the complexities of coordinating with the GSO, as graduate students also vote for the position.
“Finding a time that works for everyone is difficult, as we need a certain amount of people present from each body for decisions to be made,” Ribarić wrote. “The grievances filed to these committees also concern potential Election Day violations, which may result in punishments that affect the results, which is why the BU council representative election is the only race that does not have any projected results as we need to wait for the grievances to be closed for us to move forward.”
Although the certified executive board results are slated for release by the end of the week, unofficial results were provided and are expected to remain the same.
Coming out on top of the five-person presidential field was Elisheva Ezor, a junior double-majoring in business administration and mathematics. Ezor, a newcomer to the SA, gave her thanks to the joint Elections and Judiciary Committee for their work in the election. She did, however, express concerns with information barriers she encountered in the process.
“I had to go out and really talk to people, and I think it could be really cool to see the Elections Board for next year, and maybe I’ll get involved with this, come out with more resources,” Ezor said. “Not just factual information, but maybe also an interview with somebody who has really gone through the process and their advice. Because, on paper, getting an endorsement is so much different from that process.”
The other contested executive board race this year was for VPMA. It is projected that Khalimah Choi Owens, the current advising head office director to the VPMA and a junior double-majoring in economics and integrative neuroscience, won the role in the three-candidate race. Meanwhile, EVP, VPSS, VPF and VPP saw single-candidate races where each candidate secured their respective role.
Chance Fiorisi, the EVP-elect and a sophomore majoring in political science, described how joint campaigning played a role in his approach to the election cycle.
“If I did not have the ability to endorse and support my personal preferences for SA president and VPMA, then I feel as if I would have been less inclined to engage in the campaign itself since I was running unopposed,” Fiorisi wrote. “So, I do appreciate the fact that I was able to give support to my fellow candidates!”
As this election cycle has mostly come to a close, Ribarić said his biggest takeaway was the high enthusiasm among students for leadership positions.
“We have had great candidates campaign and share their visions for a better University, and I am grateful for all of their hard work and cooperation throughout the process,” Ribarić wrote. “Admittedly, no process is perfect and this one is no exception. If J-Board was at full capacity, things would have been easier on them at this stage, as now we are in the period where grievances are falling on them.”