University News

White ’13 wins run-off for UCS presidency

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, April 23, 2012

Anthony White ’13 defeated David Rattner ’13 and Robert Bentlyewski ’13 to win the presidency of the Undergraduate Council of Students, current UCS president Ralanda Nelson announced Thursday at 11:59 p.m. White garnered 51.3 percent of the votes following an instant runoff against Rattner, Nelson said.

Under the instant runoff system implemented last year, voters rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the votes for the candidate who received the fewest first-choice votes are reallocated based on the voter’s second choice. 

The voting period lasted from 12 p.m. Tuesday to 12 p.m. Thursday, during which time 1,723 undergraduates cast ballots. 

“All I could think about was that it was good people were really receptive to my ideas,” White said. “I will be able to make the kind of change that I was talking about while I was campaigning.” 

White said he thought his emphasis on improving financial aid and helping student groups contributed to his win.

“I see this not as a win for me but a win for moving Brown forward and making sure that the student body will finally be represented in a way that really features student interests,” he added.

Brandon Tomasso ’13 defeated Michael Schneider ’13 for the position of UCS vice president with 51.6 percent of the votes.

“I was so surprised to hear it,” Tomasso said about the moment he learned he had won. “I was ready to hear the worst.” 

“They’re going to be awesome. I think it’s an interesting combination,” said Maahika Srinivasan ’15, chair of the elections board. “Anthony is the median between the three presidential candidates, and Brandon brings a lot of outsider knowledge.” 

Bentlyewski said he thinks White and Tomasso will help improve the council and the council’s relationship with the student body. 

“They’ll be able to move (the council) in a positive direction,” he said, adding that he might consider joining the council next year depending on the available positions. 

Nelson said she would make herself available as a resource to White and Tomasso in the coming year. “I wish them the best of luck,” Nelson said. 

“We’re going to do big things, and it’s going to be great,” White said.

 Tomasso was also elected to serve as co-president of the class of 2013 for the Class Coordinating Board. He has been president of the board for the past three years and will serve alongside Kelsey Tripp ’13. 

Andrew Silverman ’14 will lead the class of 2014, and Jon Vu ’15 will serve as president of the class of 2015. 

Zak Fischer ’13, who ran unopposed, was elected chair of the Undergraduate Finance Board. No candidate officially ran for the position of vice chair of UFB. The position will be filled during an internal election at the first council meeting next semester, Srinivasan said. Prospective candidates for the position will speak briefly at the meeting and then the general body of the council will appoint people to the vacant UFB positions. 

Fischer said he thinks he will work well with Tomasso and White and plans to meet with them weekly next semester to keep the lines of communication open. 

Tomasso also said he looks forward to working with White and Fischer, adding that the three share many common goals. 

Six students – Leila Veerasamy ’15, Fredrick Rhine ’15, Oyeleye Odewunmi ’14, Stephanie Hennings ’15, Alex Sherry ’15 and Alex Drechsler ’15 – were elected to serve as UFB at-large representatives. 

Manya Jean-Gitter ’13 defeated Charlene Flores ’15 to become chair of the academic and administrative affairs committee, and Afia Kwakwa ’14 defeated Kimberly Wachtler ’13 to serve as chair of the campus life committee. Alexander Kaplan ’14, a Herald staff writer, and Abby Braiman ’15 were elected unopposed to serve as chair of the student activities committee and chair of the admissions and student services committee, respectively. Sam Gilman ’15 defeated Shannon Whittaker ’14 to serve as treasurer of the council. 

“I think we have a good mix of people who have experience on (the executive board)… and then people who are in the general body and are coming up, bringing fresh ideas,” Braiman said. “Especially under the leadership of Brandon and Anthony, I think UCS has the potential to do a lot of great things next year.”

– With additional reporting by Eli Okun

 

  • Anonymous

    While instant runoff voting is great for obtaining a majority vote when electing a president or vice president. However, the student government should represent the various constituencies on campus and that can only be accomplished by electing constituencies in proportion to the numer of votes received. For example if you are electing a 10 member student governing body if a constituency received 10% of the vote that constituency would get 10% or one seat. If a constituency received 50% of the vote that constituency would get 50% or five seats. That way the majority is protected while giving voice and representation to minorities.