The Student Association (SA) confirmed its E-Board election results last week, after grievances delayed the process.
This year’s SA elections saw only two races contested — president and vice president for multicultural affairs (VPMA). A total of 2,039 students participated in voting, a slight increase from 1,941 the year prior, but still far below voter turnout in the years before 2020.
In the presidential race, Elisheva Ezor, a junior double-majoring in mathematics and business administration, achieved a dominating performance. Ezor received 764 first-choice votes, more than double her closest opponent — Anindya Debnath, a junior double-majoring in economics and political science, who serves as the current vice president for student success (VPSS).
This marks the second year in a row that an SA E-Board incumbent has been defeated in a presidential race.
The other contested race — VPMA — saw Khalimah Choi, a junior double-majoring in economics and integrative neuroscience, claim victory. Choi received 472 first-choice votes in the first round, but the three-way race was close. Krizia Yao, a sophomore majoring in human development, received 412 first-choice votes, and Adejo Ibrahim, a sophomore majoring in economics, received 393.
In the four uncontested E-Board positions, each candidate won their race. Luca Cassidy, a sophomore majoring in economics, was elected VPSS, Chance Fiorisi, a sophomore majoring in political science, was elected executive vice president (EVP) and Sydney Ferreira, a junior majoring in anthropology, will be the new vice president for programming (VPP). Joining the three is Daniel Croce, a junior majoring in business administration, who won his bid for reelection as vice president for finance (VPF).
Cassidy said he hopes to see a more contested race going forward, as one of the unopposed candidates himself.
“The election went well for me and I will not lie that I was overjoyed I ran unopposed, but I plan to encourage more students from across different spaces on campus to get involved in SA next year,” Cassidy wrote in an email. “I do not want to see a single unopposed election next year.”
In the 2016-17 election, SA voter turnout was 2,735, followed by 3,063 in 2017-18 and 2,855 in 2018-19. Turnout saw a massive decrease to 2,062 in 2019-20, since which it has yet to fully recover.
While results were unofficially announced on March 14, a host of grievances and administrative procedures slowed the process of official certification, according to Christopher Ribarić, the chair of the Elections and Judiciary committee and a sophomore majoring in accounting.
Some candidates, like Fiorisi, felt that the delays were necessary — despite the inconvenience.
“It’s unfortunate news, but we need to make sure that moving forward, our election officers, SA and the [Graduate Student Organization (GSO)], are in constant and direct communication,” Fiorisi wrote in an email. “It is unacceptable for that line of communication to be lacking in any way. Let’s not allow it to get there.”
The GSO manages the election for BU Council Representative, which will be redone on March 24. The organization had mistakenly not used ranked-choice voting in their portion of the election, according to Ribarić.
With the election for SA E-Board squared away, President-Elect Ezor said she is looking forward to getting started.
“I am really excited to get to know what the student body is looking for in a president and also to implement my initiatives — but also [to] really understand what the role of president is and all of the possibilities so that I can get the most out of it,” Ezor said.