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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Union elections to occur Tuesday, one round will decide the winners

Published: April 9, 2010
Section: News

The first round of Student Union elections, including those for president, executive board members and representatives to the board of trustees, will take place Tuesday, April 13 beginning at midnight. The second round will take place later this month, with Senate elections Thursday, April 22.

The election timeline is abbreviated compared to usual cycles after Union President Andy Hogan ’11 requested the new schedule from the Student Judiciary. In an e-mail exchange between Hogan and Chief Justice Judah Marans ’11 provided to The Hoot, Hogan listed as his reasoning the fact “that we would like to allow the new senate to have at least 2 weeks in office before the summer. In discussions, we have found that it is necessary for the senate to have 2 weeks to allow them to approve the budget and set the stage for next year [sic].”

Presidential candidate Matt Kriegsman ’11 said the short campaign forces the aspiring leaders to be on top of the election.

“It means I’ve got to move—you have to start moving,” he said. “But it’s exciting—it puts us, all candidates, on their game.”

Another candidate, Sahar Massachi ’11 said that “one might be tempted to think of it as helping one candidate or another [because of name recognition], but students … will have less time to get to know the candidate and make up their mind.”

Other presidential candidates include current Union Treasurer Daniel Acheampong ’11, Abraham Wachter ’12 and current Racial Minority Senator J.V. Souffrant.

The larger change, however, is a result of this semester’s Constitutional Review Committee proposals’ vote changing the system of counting the votes. Instead of a two-round election with a primary, students can now rank their choice of candidates on the online ballot in a process known as instant runoff voting. As soon as a candidate is mathematically excluded from being able to be elected (determined by the number of “1” votes) his or her ballots will go to the person they have marked “2” or “3” and so on. The process was put forth in a proposal by the Constitutional Review Committee to shorten the election season and increase the fairness by ranking the candidates.