Two members of the slate Clean Slate and one from the slate BU Recharged were elected as three of the four members of the 2016-17 Boston University Student Government Executive Board, the Student Elections Commission announced Monday evening.
Clean Slate’s Jake Brewer was confirmed to be the president-elect early Tuesday morning after BU Recharged’s Louis Vitti conceded, according to vice president of finance-elect Justin Flynn. This concession occurred following a tie between Brewer, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Vitti, a junior in the Questrom School of Business. Brewer and Vitti each had until Tuesday at noon to decide if they wanted to participate in a three-day runoff election.
The results for the other three E-board positions were Clean Slate’s SaraAnn Kurkul as the executive VP-elect, Clean Slate’s Jane Dimnwaobi as the VP of internal affairs-elect and BU Recharged’s Flynn as the VP of finance-elect, members of the SEC announced.
Approximately 30 students were present Monday evening at the Announcement Dinner at the George Sherman Union Back Court.
SEC Chair Grace Cusick explained that the tie was a result of a technical error that occurred when the voting period began March 28. Vitti’s name was not on the ballot for the first two hours of the period, during which time 129 students voted and 500 other students opened the online voting ballot, said Cusick, a CAS sophomore.
According to the data presented during the Announcement Dinner, Brewer and Vitti received 1067 and 909 voted, respectively, which resulted in a difference of 158 votes. After the announcement, Jasmine Miller, SEC’s vice chair of rules and a senior in CAS, clarified that there were 28 write-ins for Vitti throughout the entire election period, which ultimately resulted in a difference of 130 votes.
After the technical difficulty was resolved, the SEC decided it would host a revote if Vitti lost by 129 votes, Cusick said. Because results after the voting period ended Sunday showed that Vitti lost to Brewer by 130 votes, the SEC decided to continue. Cusick said the SEC decided to propose a runoff election because the technical error may have affected the 500 students who opened the ballot during the first two hours.
“Because … the discrepancy between 129 and 500 is so large, the SEC felt it would be fair to re-hold a president election between [Vitti and Brewer],” Cusick said after the Announcement Dinner.
Prior to conceding, Vitti said he was shocked by the tie and would work with his campaign staff following the dinner to decide whether he would keep running.
“I don’t know what to do right now,” Vitti said after the announcement. “It’s definitely an interesting situation [because] it has never happened before. But we will definitely address it, and we will know by the end of tonight how we will go forward with this. Really, that’s all I know right now.”
After confirming Vitti’s concession, Flynn, a junior in Questrom, looked back on his slate’s experience running together.
“We’ve all grown incredibly close throughout this entire process and each member of BU Recharged inspires me in a different way,” Flynn wrote in a text message. “Louis’s care for his university. Laura’s strong ability to stand up for what she believes in. Anai’s impeccable determination, toughness and the level of alacrity she showed throughout this entire campaign. All 3 of these people are exemplary members of our community and even better friends.”
Petar Ojdrovic, who ran with the slate NewBU as the executive VP candidate, compared running for election with running a business and said his slate lost because they were not appealing enough to “shareholders.”
“Evidently we either didn’t sell a good enough product, or we didn’t market the product well enough,” said Ojdrovic, a junior in the College of Engineering.
Immediately after the announcement Brewer and Dimnwaobi declined to comment, while Kurkul was unavailable.
Several students who attended the Announcement Dinner said the mixed E-board will be beneficial if the E-board members can work out their differences.
Courtney Bold, a senior in Questrom, said the split E-board will be able to work together to improve the university despite being from different slates.
“I am really excited to see what this E-board will do in this coming year,” said Bold, the current SG Senate chair. “I hope they can find a way to incorporate the best parts of both of their goals to something that is achievable and that will better the BU community.”
Andrew Cho, a senior in CAS, said he understands the difficulty in coming together from different slates, but it will be better for the student body.
“In my opinion, we’re a comprehensive representation of the student body, especially with different views and perspectives of what has been going on,” said Cho, the current SG president. “In the long run, it’s better for students to be represented by a mixed slate.”