Class Council, Senate Elections End Today

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Candidates for Freshmen Class Council use their pages on the Undergraduate Association website as a primary means of informing voters of their platforms.
Photo Illustration by Arfa N. Aijazi

Elections for the UA Senate and 2013 Freshman Class Council have been ongoing this week and end today.

Online voting, which began on September 26, ended last night, but students who have not yet had a chance to vote can do so with paper ballots today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Lobby 10. Election results will be announced tomorrow via e-mail.

This year the number of senate seats allocated to fraternities rose to six from five and the number of seats given to sororities rose to two from one, due to increased membership in both types of organizations, said Harrison L. Bralower ’11, UA Election Commission vice chair.

Four candidates are running for freshman class president: Danielle A. Class, Bryan H. Lee, Dalitso Nkhoma, Ignatius “Iggy” Chen. Ryan T. Normandin (also a Tech staffer), whose name is listed as a candidate for president, is running instead for MacGregor Senator.

While “about the same” number of freshmen are running for election compared with previous years, Bralower said that this year is unusual in that all the presidential and vice presidential candidates are running as individuals as opposed to paired tickets, which has been common in past years.

All presidential candidates have expressed a desire to unite their class. Danielle Class wants to organize trips for the class and events with all class members together: “I don’t want people to get to senior year saying they just met someone awesome they didn’t know before.”

Nkhoma said that as class council president she would “try to make sure everyone gets heard, not just one certain group,” and try to organize events so that the class could learn about all the resources available on campus.

Lee said, “I want the whole class to have an awesome year, have fun, and get accustomed to MIT,” and that “we are lucky to have a campus like ours, with differences in outlook.”

Chen said, “MIT is composed of such a big group of such unique people … [it’s] hard to find a common ground,” but wants to connect “people who wouldn’t normally be with each other.”

All candidates’ platforms are publicly viewable on the UA election web site.

No freshman class council candidates live on the east side of campus, a fact Bralower found unsurprising. “East campus doesn’t really care about class council,” said Bralower, who, himself an East Campus resident, said he thought residents of the east side were more active in the UA.

Due to a council member resigning, the Class of 2011 is also having an election for their treasurer. Only one candidate, Sojung C. Lee ’11, is running.

Most senate races are uncontested, even though some residences have more than one seat to fill. The only dormitory without a candidate running is Bexley, which traditionally ignores such elections.

Write-in candidates are also accepted and often win positions in races where there are fewer official candidates than senate positions available, said Bralower. If seats still remain vacant at the end of an election, the presidents of the residences with empty seats will appoint representatives.

The UA elections — which in the past have been plagued by confusion, technical glitches, and even thefts of ballot boxes — have run fairly smoothly this year. Fewer than 20 students have reported problems, Bralower said, since some “didn’t have correct registrar data … [T]he registrar data said people lived off campus when they didn’t.” Paper ballots are used every year to diminish the impact of possible computer malfunction, he said.

Elections are run by the UA Election Commission, headed by Sun K. Kim ’11.

In the spring, the UA will hold elections for the UA Executive Board, as well as the 2011, 2012, and 2012 class councils.