12 votes determine election

Alyssa Coleman, News Editor

After a close election, student senators have sworn in new leadership Monday.  Devin Seiger and Tessa Fry were sworn in as student government president and vice president.

According to vice presidential candidate Rebecca Stefanyak, her and presidential candidate Olivia Albert lost to Seiger and Fry by only 12 votes.

“In the beginning, I did not think this was going to be a close election, but, once things started to progress, I knew that the winners would be determined by a small number of votes,” Stefanyak said.

Stefanyak said, even though she was voted to be a senator for the coming school year, she declined the position.

“Although I will not be a part of the organization, I would still like more student voices to be heard next year,” she said.

Seiger said he not only had confidence in himself and Fry, but in Albert and Stefanyak, too.

“I knew they would give it their all to campaign, and I am glad it was a close race. It shows that students really supported both sets of candidates.”

Albert said, although she was not elected president, she would like to continue making sure student voices are heard.

“I will continue working as hard as I did in the past,” she said.

Seiger said next year he wants to get senators involved in campus events and activities as much as possible.

He said he would also like to work on setting up a type of training for new senators to go over expectations and duties for next year.

This year, the voting was done in person and held in the Student Union and Blackington Hall, unlike previous years, when the voting was done online.

Fry said she feels the elections went smoothly this year even though the voting was done in person.

“I’m glad we had a great voter turnout,” she said. “I’m glad to see (students) caring and voicing their opinions.”

The turnout was 17% of eligible voters.

Fry said she knew this election would be a close one.

“I knew this election was going to be close because each set of candidates reached out to different demographics,” she said. “However, I had full faith in Devin and I and cannot wait to see what we can accomplish.

“(Albert) and (Stefanyak) ran a good campaign. I loved the woman-power theme and can’t wait to break some glass ceilings of my own.”

Seiger said he is excited to represent the student body and eager to take over after former President Sam Miller.

 “He has done a great job, and it will be important for me to take those reins and keep the improvement coming.”

In addition to a new president and vice president, students also had the opportunity to vote for senators.

Junior Abby Gontis said this was her first semester being a part of student government, and it allowed her to make connections with students she normally would not have the opportunity to.

“I didn’t run before because I thought I was too busy with my other clubs and work,” she said.

“(Fry) encouraged me to run and assured me I could be a part of student government and manage my other responsibilities, and I am very grateful she did.”

Gontis said she was not confident that she would be re-elected as a senator.

“There was such a large turnout for this election and it was extremely competitive, but that only makes (student government) better,” she said.

“Being a part of (student government) is different than any other club or organization I belong to, and I love being able to contribute to the (campus) in this way.”