With about 26 percent voter turnout, Jennie Kim ’15 won an unopposed election for Financial Affairs Committee (FAC) chair and Sana Naz ’16 won Program Board (PB) chair with 320 to the 197 votes received by challenger Erin Slater ’15.
Vice President Rothin Datta ’16 wrote in an email that the elections during this time of year tend to have low turnout, and these elections were no different. With that in mind, he took a positive tone.
“I think the elections went fairly well, somehow the PB and FAC elections seem to be more like mid-term elections that come at a busy time of year,” he wrote.
With 528 students voting, this ranked on par with past years. During the elections for the 2013-14 academic year, 549 students participated in the first round and 493 in a runoff round. This was higher than the 2012-13 elections, when only 357 voted. This was far lower than the 850 in participants in the elections for 2011-12 during the rollover vote and all executives were running.
Datta added that though he wished turnout were higher, he was disappointed that few students ran for these positions.
“I wouldn’t say I’m particularly pleased, I would say I’m satisfied,” he wrote. “The numbers weren’t surprising… it’s a busy time of year. If anything I was more disappointed by the number of people that filed than by the voter turnout.”
Last year, three candidates and runoff elections were necessary to decide both positions. However, this year’s candidate pool was identical to that for the 2012-13 year.
Datta wrote that he thought the candidates ran relatively low-key campaigns, but he suspected that other factors caused this.
“There didn’t seem to be a lot of campaigning around campus beyond flyers, but that might be more because of the weather than anything else,” he wrote. “Jennie Kim didn’t have to campaign too hard to win, but that isn’t her fault.”
Kim wrote in an email that running unopposed and her tenure on MCSG affected her campaign.
“I felt like since I had the name recognition of being on MCSG for the past two and a half years I did not have to do as much campaigning,” Kim wrote. “If someone else was running I definitely would have tried harder, since my campaigning was just more informing friends and people that I am going to run, and a lot of people know I am all about orgs and org budgeting anyways.”
Kim credited the candidates debate with helping her develop her policies.
“Running alone also didn’t make me think of my stance on the roles that the FAC chair has to undertake,” she wrote. “However, I got a few questions at the debate from the audience that gave me a lot to think about, though, especially two: one was about my budgeting philosophy and the other about what my favorite Beyonce song is. I’ll be thinking about that second question for a long, long time.”
Datta wrote that he was excited to see Kim win after working with her.
“I have worked with Jennie and she is great, she would have been my top pick for FAC chair whether or not she had any competitors,” he wrote.
He added that he was also excited for Naz to take on the new position.
“While I haven’t worked with Sana directly, I have only heard great things about her,” Datta wrote. “She was extremely impressive at the candidates debate, showed a great deal of enthusiasm and has some exciting plans for PB this upcoming year.”
Neither Naz nor Slater were available for comment on the election results.