The wait for a first-year senator will continue until Tuesday night after a run-off election between two candidates. The candidates, Shelby Klose and David Karaz, will start campaigning again before first-year students start voting today and Tuesday.
A small crowd gathered at Pomerantz Stage early Friday morning to await the election results. The results were announced at 12:20 a.m. when Alex Bergman, the chair of the Election Commission took the stage.
With 592 votes cast, a majority of 297 votes would have named a senator outright, except that the highest vote getter, Karaz, had 190 votes total, and Klose had 94 votes. The other candidates received anywhere from 55 votes to 87 votes in total. The write-in candidates that received votes were: Silent Bob, Jesus H. Christ and Drake Squirrel.
“The run-off [election] should be exciting,” Bergman said.
“It [campaigning] was a little bit stressful,” said Klose.
“It was an interesting election,” Karaz said, who had never been through an election process quite like Student Senate’s before.
Whoever is elected as the first-year senator will be the leader of the First-Year Interest Committee and will sit at the table during Senate meetings. This position, which was highly discussed last year, would be a stepping-stone for those involved, since there is currently no representation on Senate for first-year students.
Both of the candidates have ideas for what they want to accomplish if elected.
“My main goal is to connect more with the first-year students,” Klose said. “I’m also looking into getting more freshmen mentoring.” Mentoring would include either an older student or a faculty member to help guide the students throughout the transition into college. She is also hoping to get activities planned for first-year students to come together on a campuswide basis.
“As far as first-years go, since we’re new to this school we have a lot more questions and a lot more confusion,” Karaz said. “Having a first-year representative to communicate directly with the Student Senate and with the First-Year Interest Committee would be a huge advantage.”
With campaigning nearing an end for the first-years, Bergman hopes to see some creativity and variety from the run–off candidates. With only one person being disqualified from the election, there was little worry about how fair the candidates portrayed themselves and the accuracy of the election in general.
Once again, first-year students are urged to vote today starting at 12:01 a.m. until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. The winner will then be announced after voting ends on Tuesday or around midnight Wednesday morning at Pomerantz stage.
What sets the two candidates apart from the others that were on the ballot was that Klose was the only female and Karaz was the only one running from the First-Year Interest Committee.
“It would be a great privilege if people voted for me,” Klose said. “It is something that I am very much interested in.”
“Student leadership has always been a big passion of mine,” Karaz said. “I do have the ability to do this, and it is something that I would definitely take to heart.”
Candidate vote totals
190 – David Karaz
94 – Shelby Klose
87 – Sam Myers
84 – Eric Baker
82 – Zach Keller
55 – Timothy Alguire
Photo: Carter Oswood