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MCSG welcomes new representatives

The results of last week’s MCSG elections for class representative are in. Michael Bohman will serve as Representative for the Class of 2018 during the Fall semester, and Marco Hernandez will represent the Class of 2019. The Class of 2020 representatives are Salman Ahmed, Natalie Luo, Denise Rodriguez, Omi Strait and Jackson Ullmann.

Bohman ran unopposed for the position, earning 91 of the 102 votes cast, with the remaining 11 going to write-in candidates.

Hernandez, who served as first-year representative for the 2015-2016 year, received 121 votes while challenger Austin Ahlman received 65 votes.

First years cast a total of 340 votes for representative. Ahmed received 146 votes, Luo received 117, Rodriguez received 125, Strait received 136 and Ullman received 156.

“Turnout in this election was pretty much in line with last year,” MCSG president Merrit Stüven ’17 said in an email. “First year elections always get high turnout. 340 people voted, compared to last year’s 345.”

She continued, “Special elections usually get slightly lower turnout than regular elections and even less if there is only one candidate. Last year in a sophomore election with two candidates 148 people voted and this year it was 198; however, this year’s sophomore class is also the largest class year currently at Mac.”

The candidates for class representative had diverse reasons for running.

“This year, I want to help Macalester make different cultures and political ideologies feel accepted,” Hernandez said in an email.

For Ullman, running for student government was not something he anticipated. “It was only during the Lives of Commitment pre-orientation program that I really realized it was something I wanted to do.”

Rodriguez hadn’t planned on running until having conversations with some of the Bonner Scholars who made her feel like she “[has] a voice that would be valuable for the community,” Rodriguez said.

“I ran because I thought that as class representative, I’ll be able to give back best to my new community.” Ahmed wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly.

As far as goals, the representatives all have ideas they want to accomplish.

For Rodriguez, diversity is a priority. “Macalester is known for its internationalism,” Rodriguez said, “but I think we can do more on the domestic front. Diversity comes from many different places, not just a strong international presence.”

“I want people to know they can come up and talk to me. I want to get to know my class and hear about whatever they feel like is important—I want to be a resource for my community,” Strait said.

Natalie Luo and Michael Bohman were unavailable for comment.

Katie Jolly contributed reporting to this article.

September 23, 2016

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