Boston University students elected candidates from both The BU Ignition and Becoming United slates as the Student Government executive board for the 2013-14 academic year, Student Elections Commission officials announced Friday night.
From The BU Ignition, College of Communication junior Dexter McCoy was elected as SG president with 1161 votes. However, due to illegal campaigning activity, each candidate of The BU Ignition was deducted 1/14th of his or her votes, said SEC Co-Chair Kerry Ford.
“I am extremely thankful and grateful that such a large number of students have confidence in me in leading the student body that the SEC’s decision to take away votes still did not affect that outcome,” McCoy said. “I commit fully to serving this student body no matter who is on the executive board or regardless of who is in office because students sent a clear message, a mandate.”
Students also elected College of Arts and Sciences freshman Richa Kaul as executive vice president with 1168 votes, School of Management sophomore Fiona Chen as vice president of finance with 1143 votes and SMG junior Thatcher Hoyt as vice president of internal affairs with 1109 votes. All three were from the Becoming United slate.
“It was great to see all of the competition between the candidates and to see everyone get so involved and have such a great voter turnout,” said SEC co-chair Kerry Ford, a School of Education sophomore. “We think that any of the candidates would have done a great job [if elected].”
With 3,153 students casting votes in the election, 20 percent of the undergraduate student body participated, about three times as many students than in the fall 2012 election. Both competition between the three slates and events created by the SEC to attract student voters successfully increased turnout, Ford said.
“Having competition among the slates definitely helped because they put themselves out there more,” she said. “It brought up a lot more student enthusiasm because [students] had a choice this time.”
Kaul said the newly elected e-board will focus on student outreach.
“One of the primary things that I want to do and that the three of us from the Becoming United slate absolutely will do is make sure that Student Government’s primary concern is understanding what the students want to see,” she said. “That is, by far, the most important thing we will be doing next semester.”
Kaul said she hopes to change SG’s culture by hosting open forums for students to voice their opinions and talking to students in the George Sherman Union Link on a regular basis.
“We want to make sure we reach out to students and know what they want,” she said. “That’s really big — bringing Student Government to the students.”
Chen said she hopes to work closely with the newly elected members to create an effective financial plan for the 2013-14 academic year.
“We’ll be planning out the finances so that we’ll have enough money to plan the retreat as well as hold forums, town halls, just a bunch of events, and have some saved aside for miscellaneous costs as well,” she said. “Hopefully we can empower the senators.”
Chen said she was surprised but pleased by the increase in voter turnout.
“The amount of votes in general, over three thousand people voted — I am super happy for that,” she said. “This general increase — that’s something I will definitely celebrate.”
Before announcing the election winners, SEC Co-Chair Tess McNamara said she was pleased with the various candidates.
“We just want to say that we, as the SEC, have time and time again throughout this election process been so impressed with all the candidates and campaign staff that have supported us and each other,” McNamara, an SED sophomore, said. “We know that everybody that was involved is so capable of doing an incredible job.”