After what seemed like an agonizing half-hour delay, Associated Students Inc. representatives announced to an anxious crowd in the University Union Plaza that Angela Kramer had been elected ASI president for the 2008-09 school year.
Since none of the candidates obtained 51 percent of the initial votes, there was a runoff election between the top two candidates, Kramer and Melissa Lema, to determine the outcome.
Kramer came out ahead with 2,906 first- and second-choice votes, which accounted for 57.2 percent of the runoff votes.
“It’s amazing; it feels so perfect,” said an ecstatic, teary-eyed Kramer while receiving hugs from friends, family and supporters. Lema was close behind with 2,152 runoff votes.
“I’m very proud of how many students voted this year,” Lema said. “I congratulate Angela for her victory. I have a lot of hope for Cal Poly and feel we’re in good hands with her.”
The third candidate, Arvand Sabetian, received 1,274, or 24 percent, of the initial votes, thereby not allowing him a place in the runoff category. This is Sabetian’s second-consecutive unsuccessful run for ASI president.
“It felt worse last year,” Sabetian said. “Seeing as how I know many of the people who were elected on the Board of Directors, it’s unfortunate that I will not be able to work with them.”
For students who voted in this year’s election, key issues were sustainability, experience and reshaping ASI for the year ahead.
Biomedical engineering freshman Ben Icard voted for Kramer based on the fact that she was “eco-friendly” and a “good liberal.”
Computer engineering sophomore Estevan Whitfield, on the other hand, said he connected with Lema’s student services-oriented campaign.
“The other candidates had big ideas, but didn’t really have anything to offer students here and now,” Whitfield said.
Some students were shocked at the results.
Economics senior Jenn Kent felt that Sabetian had the election in the bag. For her, issues like attacking the CSU budget crisis and alleviating the economic burden on students were key in her decision.
“I voted for Arvand because I don’t want the funding cut-backs to trickle down and cramp my ability to afford my education,” Kent said.
Going into the election results, Kramer was optimistic. “We did everything we could with this campaign, and stayed true to our ideals,” she said. “Everything happens for a reason, so I’m fine with any outcome.”
Sabetian shared similar optimism before hearing the results. “It’s hard to really know what’s going on outside of your own campaign, but I’ll be happy either way,” he said.
Board of Directors winners:
College of Agriculture (Votes: 3,846): Kelsey Rugani (409), Megan Brownell (489), Nate Sandler (386), Shawn Cooper (513), Wes Carlson (377)
College of Architecture (Votes: 792): Katie Groth (199), Sean Christy (264), Theresa Swen (161)
College of Engineering (Votes: 3,773): Alyssa Habing (522), Kaitlin Spak (364), Kelley Wigton (470), Matt Agnitch (329), Russell Taylor (370)
College of Liberal Arts (Votes: 2,381): Jessica Patton (267), Kayvan Chinichian (245), Kelly Griggs (454), Kendra Searle (251), Sara Hunt (369)
College of Science and Math (Votes: 993): Adam Marre (242), Josh Lazarus (184), Sunil Patel (265)
College of Business (112): Ashley Singer (471), Jesse Schwartz (488), Laura Gunderson (483), Nima Salke (465)