Berns claims SGA triumph

Berns claims SGA triumph

Student Government Association Allocation Chair Noam Berns was elected President Apri 4.

Brandon Zeris, Editor-in-Chief

Student Senators Noam Berns and Alexis Kelly are to serve as the next Pitt-Johnstown Student Government Association President and Vice President after edging out the nearest vote-getter by 53 votes.

Berns said he plans on taking little time to enjoy the win and begin working as soon as he’s sworn in.

“I want to get started right away,” he said. “I want to start analyzing parking right away. A lot of work gets done here over summer, so why not push to get something done?”

Berns attributed the win to traditional-style campaigning.

“We just had a Facebook event … no Twitter account, nothing else,” he said. “It’s the best way.

“We sat in the Union and just talked to people and had conversations. We asked them if they had voted, and, if they didn’t, we encouraged them to,” Berns said, adding that no money was spent on his campaign.

Many students vote based on who they are friends with, but Kelly said that wasn’t the duo’s target.

“We wanted people to hear our ideas.”

Last week’s presidential debate was pivotal for that, Berns said.

At the debate, efficient management, parking regulations and alcohol rules were among his focuses.

“I wanted to rely on the debate. I wanted people to vote based on what we said there,” he said. “I think it helped us a lot.”

Law also campaigned in a traditional fashion, although she said that she created a Youtube video and Twitter account to promote her ideas.

“There was less push from social media,” she said.

Some have speculated that this contributed to a relatively small voter turnout.

Berns and Kelly totaled 258 votes; Carrie Law and Randall Penn finished in second with 205; and Mark Stephens and Robert Lewis had 155, bringing the total to 618 – about 21 percent eligible votes and 300 fewer than last year’s presidential vote.

Stephens said he was surprised with the small turnout.

“With three candidates, you would think more people would have voted.”

Although Stephens said he is disappointed with the results, he won’t give up on his political endeavors.

“I’m going to do my best to serve the students as a senator and continue serving as College Democrats president.”

Stephens said he also plans to run for Borough Council in northern Cambria County.

“At least I’ll win the primary because no one’s running against me,” he said of the borough council race.

As of Friday, Law said she was not sure whether she was going to run for a senate seat but said she would motivate others to run, regardless of her candidacy.

“I want to encourage new people to run to get fresh ideas.”

Student Senate elections were to have begun 10 a.m. Tuesday and are to conclude  at 10 p.m. today.Winners are to be sworn in by Berns and Kelly at Monday’s student government meeting.