After what seemed like an agonizing delay, Associated Students Inc. representatives announced to an anxious crowd in the University Union that Angela Kramer had been elected Associated Students, Inc.’s 2008-09 president.
In what came down to a close decision between Kramer and her rival, Melissa Lema, Kramer came out ahead with 2,906 first and second choice votes, accounting for 57.2 percent of the “runoff” votes.
“It’s amazing, it feels so perfect,” said an ecstatic, teary-eyed Kramer between receiving hugs from friends, family and supporters.
Since none of the candidates obtained 51 percent of the initial votes, the runoff votes were what decided the outcome.
Lema came in at close second with 2,152 runoff votes, accounting for 42.4 percent of students’ first and second choice 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 were elected on the Board of Directors, it’s unfortunate that I will not be able to work with them,” Sabetian 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,” Sabetian said.
For students who voted in this year’s election, key issues were sustainability, experience and realistic goals 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, 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 California State University budget crisis and alleviating the economic burden on students was 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.
Board of Directors winners:
College of Agriculture: Kelsey Rugani, Megan Brownell, Nate Sandler, Shawn Cooper, Wes Carlson
College of Architecture: Katie Groth, Sean Christy, Theresa Swen
College of Engineering: Alyssa Habing, Kaitlin Spak, Kelley Wigton, Matt Agnitch, Russell Taylor
College of Liberal Arts: Jessica Patton, Kayvan Chinichian, Kelly Griggs, Kendra Searle, Sara Hunt
College of Science and Math: Adam Marre, Josh Lazarus, Sunil Patel
College of Business: Ashley Singer, Jesse Schwartz, Laura Gunderson, Nima Salke