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Gourley ’16 captures UCS presidency

In election with 49 percent voter turnout, Bhatla ’16 claims UCS vice presidency

Sazzy Gourley ’16 won the Undergraduate Council of Students presidency, while Alana Bhatla ’16 claimed the vice presidency, announced UCS Elections Board Chair Heather Sabel ’17 just after midnight Friday on the steps of the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center.

With 50.5 percent of the vote, Gourley defeated Justice Gaines ’16 and Zachary Nelkin ’17. Gaines garnered 45.2 percent of the vote, and Nelkin earned 2.5 percent.

Bhatla, UCS media director and former UCS treasurer, triumphed over Ryan Lessing ’17, chair of the UCS Admissions and Student Services committee, with 75 percent of the vote.

Approximately 49 percent of the undergraduate student body — 3,152 students — voted in the election, up from the 2,991 students who hit the polls last year.

“This campaign comes as the result of a lot of hard work and a really dedicated team,” said Gourley, currently UCS vice president and chair of the UCS Outreach and Advocacy committee. “Our goal was to be as inclusive and positive as possible, and I plan to continue that tone throughout my presidency.”

UCS needs to focus on “the cultural shift necessary for upcoming policy changes to have their intended effects,” Gourley added.

“I’m really proud of the campaign we ran,” said Gaines, a UCS general body member and member of the Task Force on Sexual Assault. “Congrats to Sazzy — he’ll be a great president.”

“I’m really just excited for what we can do on this campus and to make sure student voices are heard and student needs are met,” Gaines said, adding, “I will continue with UCS. … I will be taking on whatever role is needed.”

Nelkin, a former member of UCS, said he intends to join the UCS general body in the hopes of making the council “more democratic.”

Gourley “ran a great campaign,” Nelkin said. “He’ll do a great job.”

“I’ve been really excited by how invested everyone has been in UCS during this election, and I hope to continue a lot of the conversations next year on UCS that I’ve been having with students during the campaign,” Bhatla said. “I also want to congratulate Ryan on running a great campaign.”

Bhatla will “be great as vice president,” Lessing said. “I ran because I wanted to start a conversation about deeper changes to the way UCS operates. I’ve gotten a great response to that both within UCS and outside of UCS, and I absolutely plan on continuing to work on that.”

Lessing, who spearheaded the council’s online feedback forum What to Fix Brown this semester, said he has led a group that has reviewed the council’s structure and will issue recommendations in the next few days.

“I’m not planning on going anywhere,” Lessing said. “It’s really fantastic that the voter turnout was as high as it was and that there were as many close races as there were,” he added.

Timothy Ittner ’18, Kevin Garcia ’18 and Dara Bernstein ’18 ran unopposed and were elected chairs of the UCS Academic and Administrative Affairs committee, the UCS Campus Life committee and the UCS Student Activities committee, respectively. Peter Dutton ’18 won chair of the UCS Admissions and Student Services committee over Brandon Le ’18 in an instant run-off election. After two instant run-off elections, John Brewer ’17 defeated Helen Ding ’18 and Minoshka Narayan ’18 for the position of UCS treasurer.

Dakotah Rice ’16 and Faith Moses ’18 ran unopposed to win chair and vice chair of the Undergraduate Finance Board, respectively. Aryan Chhabria ’18, Jordan Ferguson ’17, Florene Frenot ’16, Jeannie Le ’16 and Carolyn Stichnoth ’16 were elected UFB at-large representatives.


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