A COMPLETE LIST OF STUDENT GOVERNMENT ELECTION RESULTS IS AVAILABLE IN THE PRINT EDITION.
by AARON MAYORGA, JACK D. MELANSON & STEPHEN ZUBRYCKY, Editors and Editor-in-Chief
The Manhattan College student body lifted the Jasper Pack to victory last week, filling all nine slots in Student Government’s Executive Board with the party’s candidates.
At the top of the Jasper Pack’s ticket were Micaela Bishop and Phillip Mourikes, who were elected student body president and vice president, respectively.
Down-ballot, the party swept all seven races for vice president, with Patrick Mauer claiming club administration, Kaitlyn von Runnen claiming educational affairs, Gregory Gorman claiming finance, Adam Genners claiming social life, Patrick Estanbouli claiming residential affairs, Tara Marin claiming communication and Margaret Flores claiming the race for commuter affairs.
Jasper Pack’s primary opponent was the other major party, The Campus that Never Sleeps, which was led by LisaMarie Nilaj and Alexander Constantine. There were also two independent candidates running for the commuter affairs position.
A whopping 869 students cast ballots in the election, which was a significant uptick from last year’s turnout, according to John Bennett, Director of Student Engagement. Bennett estimated that there are 2,500 eligible voters.
“We’ve compared ourselves to other benchmark schools and other schools in the MAAC for instance; our [turnout] percentages blow other schools out of the water,” Bennett said.
This year’s high turnout follows a race marked by aggressive advertising campaigns. The Jasper Pack’s campaign featured a Snapchat “geofilter,” Snapchat themed posters and free lemonade giveaways on the Quad.
The Campus That Never Sleeps distributed buttons and hung posters throughout campus that mimicked the No. 1 train.
Mauer ultimately believes that his party’s victory was a function of the blood, sweat and tears that its members put into the campaign.
“It feels awesome that the Jasper Pack had a sweep. All the hard work paid off,” Mauer said. Mauer plans to approach his new position with the same fervor.
“The current plan is to strengthen and inspire new clubs on campus,” Mauer said.
“It was a very stressful campaigning week and it’s over,” Bishop said, describing herself as relieved. “The Jasper Pack is definitely very happy.” Bishop is going to make school spirit her top priority in the first weeks of her new administration.
“Our initial idea is going to be to promote school spirit,” Bishop said. She hopes to achieve this by increasing attendence at student government meetings by mandating club representation.
“We’ll get busy right away,” Bishop said.
Mourikes is eager to hit the ground running. “My role as executive vice president will support the common goal of the Jasper Pack to increase school safety, grow our relationship with the residents of Riverdale, provide new styles of school spirit and to bring a new twist to social events on campus,” Mourikes said in a prepared statement.
Bennett said that his office, which works closely with student government would have been glad with the results no matter which party claimed victory. “We were very happy when we saw the list of candidates to start with,” Bennett said. “We couldn’t lose, from our office’s [perspective].”
Nilaj wished Bishop and the Jasper Pack members all the best, and said she plans to maintain an active presence in the student government.
“I definitely still want to stay active whether that’s as a position or as a member,” Nilaj said. “I still think I have a lot to contribute to [student government].”
Nilaj commended the work of her party members, specifically Constantine and club administration candidate Megan Haber.
“Both [Constantine and Haber] have been involved in student government since their freshman year,” Nilaj said. “I couldn’t have asked for anyone better. They gave it their all. And my hope is that they run next year.”
The executive board races were not the only items on the ballot for students last week. The assembly spots of commuter vice president will be filled by Anna Rosario. Liberal arts students elected Timothy Gress, and engineering students elected Samantha Cachoian. All three new vice presidents-elect ran for their positions unopposed.
Students also elected new class vice presidents. Alannah Boyle was elected senior class vice president, juniors elected Liam Moran and sophomores elected Celeste Burns and Kerry Cavanagh.
The outgoing student government will hold an assembly meeting tomorrow.