March 9, 2009

Students Choose Salem-Williams

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The Student Assembly announced on Friday that its leaders for the coming year will be President Rammy Salem ’10 and Executive Vice President Olamide Williams ’10. In its first direct election of executive officers, the S.A. saw a record number of voters, amounting to over 4,300. Seven slates campaigned for the President/EVP position in one of the most competitive elections in recent history.
“In this race, people actually turned out to vote,” Williams said. “We want to have that same desire from students carry over into next semester. The Student Assembly is supposed to be the governing body between students and administration.”
Williams said that he and Salem would first speak to outgoing S.A. President Ryan Lavin ’09 and Executive Vice President Chris Basil ’10 to see what the current leaders are doing and what can be improved. Williams added that he hopes to continue the legacy of Lavin and Basil, while seeking to get students more involved in the process.
“It was an extremely competitive election with record voter turnout at over 35 percent of the undergraduate student body involved in voting,” said S.A. Director of Elections Mike McDermott. “I think that the direct election and level of campus wide coverage helped to elevate the importance of this election, and that voters educated themselves about the issues and the candidates’ experience.”
The Salem-Williams slate received 884 votes. Basil and Nikki Junewicz ’10 came in second with 790 votes while Andrew Brokman ’11 and Andy Gindy ’11 were third with 645 votes.

Lavin expressed confidence in his successors and satisfaction in a well-fought campaign process.

“All of the S.A. candidates should be very proud of themselves,” Lavin said. “They have helped revolutionize student elections at Cornell, increasing voter turnout to record numbers. I am excited for the new leadership of the S.A., and look forward to helping with Rammy and Ola’s transition.”

Salem was unavailable for comment.

The rest of the Student Assembly seats will be filled as follows:

At-large (2 seats) – Chris Basil ’10 and Nikki Junewicz ’10
At-large International – Cecilia de Lencquesaing ’12
At-large Minority (2 seats) – Nikhil Kumar ’11 and Justin Min ’11
CALS (2 Seats) – Alex Latella ’10 and Adam Nicoletti ’12
Arts and Sciences (3 seats) – Natalie Raps ’12, Adam Raveret ’12, and Jon Rau ’12
Engineering (2 Seats) – Mike DeLucia ’12 and Zack Glasser ’12
Hotel Administration – Idris Akinpelu ‘10
Human Ecology – Kristen Welch ’10
ILR – Vincent Andrews ’11
AAP – unfilled
LGBTQ – unfilled
University Assembly (4 seats, 2 unfilled) – John Cetta ’10 and Kade Laden ’10