Photos: Connor McCourtney
Amid the heightened energy of Drake students, the nine new at-large, academic and diversity interest senators were announced for next year’s session.
Arts & Sciences: Dana Hansen
Business: RUN-OFF ELECTION
Fine Arts: Kayleigh Koester
Education: Carly Hamilton
Journalism: Sean Walsh
Pharmacy: Nick Lund
A crowd of about 50 students gathered at Pomerantz Stage in Olmsted Center to await the results from the Election Commission. This time around, there was no PowerPoint announcing the outcomes, but rather Election Commission Co-Chair Alex Bergman naming off the top nine vote getters for senators-at-large and all other positions.
The results started with academic senators. With many of the positions being uncontested, there were little to no surprises for those in attendance.
Those elected as academic senators were: Dana Hansen, College of Arts and Sciences; Nick Lund, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; Sean Walsh, School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Carly Hamilton, School of Education; and Kayleigh Koester, Fine Arts.
There will be a run-off election next week for the College of Business and Public Administration between Adam Lutz and Nick Kollauf.
“I’m excited for it,” said Lutz. “We’re both really qualified candidates, and it will be a tight race.”
Tanaya Thomas will be diversity interest senator.
After those announcements came the results for senators-at-large.
Sophomore Amanda Laurent had the most votes during the election with 677 in total, followed by first-year David Karaz with 668.
The nine newly elected senators-at-large in highest vote total are: Laurent, Karaz, Seejo Valacheril, Sam Pritchard, Nate Bleadorn, Stephen Slade, Alex Hendzel, Michael Riebel and Zach Keller.
Together, they will sit around next year’s table for the 25th session of Drake Student Senate.
Riebel said it was exciting to be re-elected and that he was really looking forward to not only have returning members but also new members around the table.
“I’m really happy with how the election went, it was a pretty clean campaign process,” said Bleadorn.
Bergman agreed that the campaign process this time around was clean.
Bleadorn added that there were good candidates that were elected, but also good candidates that were not elected.
“That’s always kind of a bummer that not everyone can get on,” he said.
Valacheril will be the lone senior senator-at-large around the table next year and with his previous years of experience he is “grateful” for the support from his constituents.
“It’s a huge honor,” he said. Valacheril said that his main goal next year will be to help make the students aware of decisions that will affect them in any way.
Pritchard, a current first-year student, is one of the newly elected senators who have not been around the table before.
“It’s good to know that I have the support and mandate of the student body,” he said.
President-elect Greg Larson and vice president of student life-elect Matt Van Hoeck are both looking forward to next year’s crew.
“There are a lot of people that are eager to do a lot of great things,” Larson said.
“I’m pretty optimistic about what we can do,” added Van Hoeck.
At this point, there is a waiting period for all at-large senators to receive their committee placements before they can move on and create goals for the 2011-12 school year. According to Van Hoeck and Larson, those announcements will be made next week.
“Even though a lot of the races were unopposed, this is new people that were interested,” Van Hoeck said. “This senate will be different from last year’s.”
Laurent – 677
Karaz – 668
Valacheril – 609
Pritchard – 594
Bleadorn – 584
Slade – 561
Hendzel – 556
Riebel – 499
Keller – 486
Weller – 463
Birkholz – 441
Alguire – 271
Hanel (write-in) – 69
Hansen – 276
Lutz – 143 (44.6%)
Kollauf – 98 (28%)
Klose – 79 (24.6%)
Koester – 260
Walsh – 110
Lund – 244
Hamilton – 86
Thomas – 918