As chants, fists and cigar smoke filled the air, Supervisor of Elections Amanda Griffin announced the results of the fall Student Government elections, leading to an eruption of cheers from the Unite Party.
Unite Party candidates won 48 of the 50 Student Senate seats up for election during this cycle, while the Progress Party won one seat and independent candidate Michael Morales snagged the other.
Unite Party spokesman Micah Lewis said he was very proud of all of his party’s candidates.
“We’re looking forward to the upcoming year so we can accomplish the platform points that we promised the students,” Lewis said.
Jose Soto, the sole Progress Party winner, who will represent graduate and family housing, said that even with one seat his party will make a difference on campus.
“Even though we got one seat, our platform is going to be represented,” he said.
Dave Schneider, president of the Progress Party, said he was content with his party’s sole victor.
“I feel the graduates and family housing are going to have an excellent representative for the next year,” he said.
Michael Morales, who ran independently and will represent the Lakeside area, said he plans to switch his affiliation to the Student Alliance party after he assumes his seat.
“Third time’s the charm,” he said. “Right now I am so overwhelmed with joy. I’ve got the worst farmer’s tan ever, but it’s worth it.”
Kevin Kleponis, Student Alliance party Senate leader, said he knew the Unite Party would sweep the available seats.
The Student Alliance party did not participate in the elections after submitting the wrong candidate list to the supervisor of elections for approval.
Instead, some of the candidates up for positions who interviewed with the Student Alliance Party decided to run independently and planned to switch affiliations if elected.
“The students of the university deserve the government they elect,” Kleponis said.
The Student Alliance party won 20 Senate seats during the spring SG election.
“What was so promising a push that we made in the spring just seems dead now,” Kleponis said.
Alan Yanuck, who has represented the Keys Residential Complex for two years as a member of the Student Alliance party, lost his seat to the Unite Party.
“I’m feeling fine,” he said. “I’ve had two years and I’ve done a lot of things I’m proud of. Hopefully my successor will do a lot of things they’re proud of.”
Student Body President Ashton Charles, who represents the Unite Party, said she was proud of her party and all the hard work the candidates did for their campaigns.
“I think it really represents the fact that we truly represent who will make a difference on campus,” Charles said.
She said even though her party lost two seats, she is still looking forward to working with the Student Senate in the future.
“I’m so proud of everyone, win or lose,” Charles said.
According to Griffin, 7,526 ballots were cast during this fall’s election. She said this turnout was slightly lower than that of previous fall elections.
“I’m glad to see people are participating,” Griffin said.
Daniel Dean, chair of the Election Commission, said there were 11 campaign and election complaints filed as of 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, but candidates had until midnight to file more.
He said the election commission will be tentatively meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday to discuss them.