Remember those pesky absences the Senate was trying to fill before the end of the year? Well, they held a totally drama-free election just before Easter break, and the results are in: 11 students can now proudly call themselves GUSA Senators—including two who didn’t even know they were running.
Two write-in candidates won a GUSA seat: Matt Sam Wiles, representing the townhouses of 36th and 37th Streets, and Simone Popperl, representing off-campus students [full disclosure: Simone used to write for the Voice].
Simone quickly informed Speaker Reggie Greer (COL ’09) that she could not serve when she was notified she had won the election, as Reggie told the Senate at the beginning of Sunday’s meeting, but Sam Wiles showed up. (A little late, but then again, you can’t blame him? He didn’t know he was going to be a Senator). Although he didn’t speak much, he voted with the best of them on a bill that expanded the Senate to include a treasurer position and four at-large Senate seats that cannot be held by freshmen.
All of this begs the question, exactly how many votes did the two write-ins need to have to get a Senate seat? According to Election Commissioner Mirco Haag (SFS ’09), the number wasn’t very high.
“For the vacant district of townhouses, no one was running, so anyone who got a vote won. The other one was Off-Campus, and since there were four open seats, you didn’t need that many votes [to win],” Mirco said. “Sam Wiles needed one vote. Simone needed more. I think there were about 40-50 votes in her district, so she would have needed about 10.”
If Sam sticks it out until the last meeting tomorrow, he, along with the 9 other new Senators, could be critical in whether or not next year’s budget gets passed. The one person who wrote him in may have tipped the scales on a decision that controls thousands of dollars of funding for campus organizations. The joke’s on you, student body!