Becker ’09 wins UCS presidency in landslide

Tran '10 next UFB chair, runoffs for vice chair

By
Friday, April 18, 2008

Brian Becker ’09 won the presidency of the Undergraduate Council of Students in a landslide over Martin Bell ’10, receiving more than twice as many votes, UCS officials announced last night.

“I’m very excited about my win,” Becker said. “This is just the first step to keeping the Brown that we love.”

Lily Tran ’10, a Herald sales manager, was declared chair of the Undergraduate Finance Board over Jose Vasconez ’10.

Becker received 703 votes, or 69 percent, to Bell’s 316 votes, or 31 percent. Tran received 509 votes, or 56 percent, while Vasconez had 392 votes, or 44 percent.

No winners were declared in the race for UCS vice president because neither Ellen DaSilva ’10, a Herald account manager, nor Michael MacCombie ’11 received the required 50 percent of the vote. Runoff elections will be held on MyCourses from noon next Wednesday to 6 p.m. Thursday.

The referendum to abolish class representatives passed with 85 percent of the vote, or 759 “yes” votes, to 138 “no” votes, or 15 percent.

The elections were held on MyCourses from 5 p.m. Tuesday to 5 p.m. yesterday. Results were announced to the candidates and a crowd of friends and supporters on the steps of Faunce House shortly before midnight last night.

1,346 total ballots were cast, though many ballots contained abstentions in some or all races, Elections Board Chair Rakim Brooks ’09 said.

Every candidate running in an uncontested election was elected to his or her desired position.

Stefan Smith ’09 will be UFB vice chair, while Herald Opinions Columnist Tyler Rosenbaum ’11 will be chair of the Academic and Administrative Affairs Committee. Ryan Lester ’11 will be chair of the Student Activities Committee and Harris Li ’11 will be UCS treasurer.

Junior class representatives will be Greg Abdo ’10, David DesPrez ’10, John Giannuzzi ’10, Clay Wertheimer ’10 and Alex Wilpon ’10. Sophomore class representatives will be Whitney Talbott ’11, Jerry Cedrone ’11 and Sammy McGowan ’11. Because the position was abolished, the class representatives will become at-large representatives.

Salsabil Ahmed ’11, Jeremy Harper ’11, Akshay Rathod ’10, Cecilia Strombeck ’11 and Herald business staffer Juan Vasconez ’10 will be UFB representatives.

“I honestly don’t think there were an uncharacteristically high number of abstentions,” Brooks said. He added that some of the completely blank ballots may have been submitted because voters did not save their answers in the MyCourses ballot despite “concerted efforts” from the elections board to prevent this.

The results were announced after the UCS elections board held a meeting to decide whether to count ballots that contained no votes as ballots cast. The UCS code of operations says that elections to officer positions are “by a majority vote,” but do not specify whether abstentions should be counted as votes. The board decided that abstentions should not affect the election.

Becker was chair of the UCS campus life committee last year and worked to add salads to Josiah’s and a DVD collection to the Friedman Study Center.

He ran on a platform of “small and simple” improvements to the University, he told The Herald. He said UCS should deal with both campus life issues and larger issues like Banner and the “possibly changing ideals” of the New Curriculum.

Tran serves as a UFB representative and ran on a platform of increasing UFB’s transparency and the advising it gives to student groups in their budget requests.

“I really hope I do get a chance to implement my plans,” an overwhelmed Tran said after hearing the election results.

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