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Winners of ASSU election announced

Nikhil Joshi // Published April 14, 2008 in The Daily Stanford
 Johnny Dorsey ‘09 and Fagan Harris ‘09 were not the only students enjoying an election victory this weekend. Fifteen newly-elected Senators and three class slates joined them in their post-election celebrations, as will dozens of special fees groups.

Though this year’s executive election has concluded, battles in the Senate and concerns over failed monetary measures will still linger in the weeks to come.

THE SENATE

The first place finish in this year’s Senate elections went to Shelley Gao ‘11, who received 1,124 votes, the most of any senator.

The freshman, noticeably surprised, lit up when her name was called first and shrieked in celebration.

Though the senator who received the highest number of votes last year (Eugene Nho ‘10) was elected deputy chair, Gao was unwilling to discuss any interest in a leadership position at this time.

But Patrick Cordova ‘09, who received 1,092 votes — the second highest total amongst Senate candidates — said he was interested in running for chair, and that he hoped his background in the Senate would give him an edge.

Cordova will be joined by two other senators — Stuart Baimel ‘09 and Luukas Ilves ‘09 — who served on the Senate last year.

Though the campaigns for chair are sure to be hard-fought, whether or not endorsements will play a role in this year’s Senate divisions remains to be determined.

In last year’s chair elections, Priyanka Sharma ‘09 summed up her ability to smooth over divisions between two Senate factions with the words, “I am not a SOCC- or Stanford Review-endorsed candidate,” a sentiment reiterated by Nho.

Cordova adamantly dismissed the idea that such divisions will define the Tenth Undergraduate Senate.

“The idea is ‘15’ as opposed to 8-7,” he said. “If we continue to have a discussion about the different backgrounds we came from, we are not going to get anything done.”

Of the fifteen newly elected senators, eight are endorsed by the Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) and seven have the backing of the Stanford Review. Cordova was not endorsed by either SOCC or the Review, and Gao was endorsed by both.

Whether or not these endorsements become a buzzword in this year’s chair campaigns remains to be determined, and they are only two of a series of endorsements claimed by this year’s senators.

The Jewish Students Association endorsed six elected senators, while Students for a Sustainable Stanford also endorsed six. Five senators who received the Stanford Democrats’ endorsement also clinched Senate seats, as did four who received the Queer Straight Alliance’s endorsement.

Perhaps the most surprising contingent? Structured Liberal Education (SLE) students. Six senators are current SLE students or alums.

SPECIAL FEES

Every special fees request was passed in last week’s election with the exception of KZSU funding, which failed to garner adequate support amongst graduate voters. While undergrads supported the radio station by a wide margin, only 45.71 percent of graduates voted yes.

Graduate Measure A, the GO Pass advisory referendum, was also defeated by graduate students. The GO Pass — which would add $106 to graduates’ yearly University bills to provide unlimited free Caltrain rides for all graduate students — was defeated by a margin of 329 votes. The Graduate Student Council voted five to three in favor of putting the measure on the ballot.

CLASS SLATES

The Soph Touch won the race for sophomore class president and Ocean’s Oh-Ten defeated the incumbent Class of 2010 presidents The Giving Tree, despite controversies surrounding both races. Ocean’s Oh-Ten soundly defeated The Giving Tree by a vote of 444 to 319, a margin of 125. This victory came after a controversy over emails sent to the Class of 2010 list last week, earning both junior class slates a stern reprimand from Elections Commissioner Ryan Woessner ‘10.

“It is our wish to put the election behind us and enter the next academic school year with fun activities that strengthen the unity of the class of 2010,” Ocean’s Oh-Ten said in a written statement. “We hope that the current sophomore class presidents share our sentiments in the best interests of our class.”

The Soph Touch defeated McLeven by 106 votes in the second round of instant runoff voting — 496 to 390. Oh-Lovin’ was defeated in the first round, receiving just 250 first choice votes.

“The four of us are really excited to start planning events as soon as possible to benefit the entire class,” said Peter Davis ‘11, a member of The Soph Touch. “What’s important for us now [is] to unite as a class, we welcome the help of all the other candidates now that we are no longer opponents.”

An email sent to the West Lag chat list last week accused McLeven and Oh-Lovin’ of making a backroom deal to steal the election away from The Soph Touch. The two slates had told their supporters to rank the opposite slate as number two when voting.

— Andrea Fuller contributed to this report.