Desann Carty elected SA president; activity fee kept mandatory
Student Association chief of staff Desann Carty was elected Friday to replace the president she works under in an election that saw the lowest voter turnout in three years.
Carty and her running mate, Ariel Nuñez, staved off a presidential challenge from up-and-coming First-Year Senators Zak Constantine and Ivan Daquial.
Around 380 votes tipped the scales in favor of Carty. Her presidential ticket took 57.18% of the 2,298 votes cast, with the Constantine/Daquial ticket taking in 40.5% of the vote.
“We would just like to thank everyone who voted mandatory (on the activity fee), it’s important to keep our school going. Thank you for everyone who participated in it(the election). Congratulations to both Zak Constantine and to Ivan, and good luck, we look forward to working with you next year.”
The student activity fee was kept mandatory by an overwhelming margin, with around 71% of voters saying “yes.”
Keeping the activity fee mandatory was a central part of each candidate’s campaign.
Constantine said he was “extremely proud of the policy first campaign that we ran free of endorsements from large cultural organizations and fraternities,” and that “moving forward, I will continue to be an advocate for students seeking to improve their campus experience.”
Carty’s “It’s T.I.M.E.” movement made gains in the Senate as well, although the results for all Senator-at-Large positions were withheld due to a “pending review,” with the SA elections committee promising to release them next week.
While Carty’s ticket won five of the 10 Senate seats announced, Constantine’s “Do More” ticket won four of these Academic Division Senate seats up for election.
The elections commission noted that this was the third consecutive year that over 2,000 students voted in the election. However, this was also the lowest voter turnout in those three years.
The final vote on the ballot was for a referendum to amend the SA constitution in order to add two seats to the Senate for international student, proposed by Senator Ivan Daquial.
This referendum passed with 75% of the vote, which was the most universally supported item on the ballot. Almost twenty percent of voters abstained from voting on the referendum.
Daquial said there was “a cultural and linguistics barrier that keeps international students from participating and feeling represented on campus,” which is why he wrote the amendment.