Votes tallied in Student Union election

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Photo by Adam Sosnicki

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The student body elected its 2015-2016 Student Union leaders in the elections earlier last month.

Leading as Student Union  President will be junior Sherin Shibu, who will partner with SU Vice President-elect, junior Peony Tse. The Junior BSAC, Junior SLT, Treasurer, Junior and Senior Class President races were all unopposed (see full results to the left).

Sherin, who previously served as Sophmen Class President and Junior Class President, spoke of the importance of educating the student body about the function and importance of the SU as a whole. She plans to do this by implementing a monthly newsletter to keep everyone informed.

“I understand that people who wanted to run may not have known about the mandatory prerequisites or the fact that application packets were sent out,” she said. “We’re going to try to emphasize the importance of every role on the SU.”

Junior Angelina Liu, elected to lead Public Relations for the SU, also felt the need to keep the student body involved, adding, “Specifically as Public Relations, I’m going to get the SU website up and running so everyone can get news more easily and efficiently, instead of relying solely on senators/morning announcements.”

Citing a desire to improve student resources as her main goal, Peony commented, “There should be more connections linking students to what is beyond classroom walls.”

This year’s campaign began on March 30 and featured the standard posters and Facebook posts.

Campaign rules prohibit posters in the cafeteria, bathrooms, the gymnasium, classrooms, any food-based campaigning, and a total campaign budget greater than $20. Although this places some limitations on the means of campaigning, it gives the candidates a chance to think outside the box.

Among the most unique advertising choices was Sherin’s final campaign day strategy. Although there are restrictions on ads such as posters in bathrooms, Sherin was allowed to place liquid soap packets with her name on them in bathrooms.

She commented, “I thought about what Harrisites continually complained about, and so I asked if I could put soap in the bathrooms as a part of my campaign.”

“It says a lot about you as a candidate if you’re able to reach out to the student body in so many different ways,” said Coordinator of Student Activities Sarah Oberlander, who was strongly supportive of such measures. “It means you’re better suited to connect with them and their environment.”

Sophmen President Candidate freshman Noah Sadik added, “I think unusual ads … make the race more interesting.”

Agastya Vaidya, who ran unopposed, felt that his race lacked that element of intense advertising some other campaigns added.

“Campaigning wasn’t something I got to experience like the opposed people,” he said, “but I felt pride in telling people I’ll be representing our school as Junior BSAC.”

Ms. Oberlander praised the efforts of all the candidates:  “I felt that most students promoted their campaigns well. Even the unopposed candidates…helped promote the election as a whole.”

Sophomore Secretary Alex added, “We may see similar things in the future, but campaign rules do restrict how much a candidate may give out. After all, we want the candidates to win their votes, not buy them.”

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