Tess Loarie is Associated Students Inc.’s (ASI) new 2021-2022 president, and she said she feels excited and fortunate to have been elected by her peers to represent the Cal Poly student body.
Tess Loarie was elected with a total of 1,113 votes out of the 1,979 students who voted in the election, according to the ASI website. Loarie won 56.2% of the vote and voter turnout in the election was 9.4% of the student body.
Loarie said she felt a mixture of excitement and relief after first hearing the news of her win that Thursday morning.
“It was very surreal,” Loarie said. “It’s validating to know that you put yourself out there for 10 days, and then people saw and recognized what you did and things swung in your favor.”
Loarie said she thanked everyone who voted for her and said she appreciates that students were willing to trust her as the official voice of the student body. In addition, she hopes to connect with the students who didn’t vote for her.
“I hope to validate their experiences, hear their concerns and work towards a better Cal Poly for all students regardless of who you chose to vote for,” Loarie said.
Loarie said that she and fellow ASI presidential candidate, Brian Kragh, had a conversation over the phone after results were announced on April 22. Loarie said that the two ran a very friendly race and that they were on great terms.
After hearing the results, Kragh said that although he wasn’t surprised by the outcome, he was happy with the campaign he ran and wanted to thank his campaign team for all their hard work.
Brian attributed his election loss to his lack of interpersonal connection and outreach with the student body.
“I never once stepped foot on to Cal Poly’s campus during the course of the campaign, so it just made it hard to reach out to people,” Kragh said. “I felt like because of COVID there wasn’t necessarily the outreach that there could have been.”
Kragh also said that he wished he had done more to spread his campaign ideas on social media.
Kragh said he thanked all the students who voted for him and promised to continue advocating for students in whatever capacity possible.
“ASI president was only one option I was considering,” Kragh said. “There are many ways to advocate for students.”
In addition, Kragh said he wanted to wish Loarie the best of luck in her role as ASI president.
Loarie said the entirely virtual campaign cycle, raised a conversation within ASI about campaign spending limits. Loarie said that she didn’t spend any money during her campaign.
“You don’t need to have a $1500 spending limit as a presidential candidate to be able to win,” Loarie said. “You don’t need to buy targeted Instagram ads or hire a staff, you can just run a campaign by networking and outreaching in different student spaces.”
With the virtual aspect of the campaign, Loarie said she utilized Zoom to facilitate conversations with different student groups and connect one-on-one with students.
Loarie said she celebrated her win by getting ramen with friends in Los Osos and then planned to get some much-needed sleep after a busy campaign cycle.
ASI has the full results of the 2021-2022 ASI election, including the election results for the ASI Board of Directors, on their website.