SA president Jung Won Kim speaks at the SA Meeting on September 14th. (Boris Tsang/Staff Photographer)

October 4, 2017

4 Elected, 4 Disqualified in Freshmen S.A. Elections

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Student Assembly announced the results of its fall 2017 elections on Tuesday, with five students elected into new positions and four disqualified for elections violations.

The newly elected freshmen representatives are Savanna Lim ’21, Jaewon Sim ’21, Marco Peralta-Ochoa ’21 and Osai Egharevba ’21. Alex Chowdhury ’20 was also elected as the transfer representative.

The freshman representative election yielded 46.47 percent voter turnout, with 1,559 students voting out of the 3,355 eligible. A total of 19 freshmen ran for the four positions, with 11 not receiving enough votes for election.

The remaining four candidates were disqualified from the election — one of whom even received more votes than one of the elected representatives.

According to Travis Cabbell ’18, chair of the Elections Committee, the “disqualification was due to the Elections Committee determining that candidates broke election rules.”

Unable to confirm which rule was broken so as to not deter candidates from running in the future, Cabbell said that the committee voted that there was a violation but it did not impact the results of the election.

In terms of her concrete plans for her new position, Lim said she hopes to address the night lighting on the Arts Quad. Joining the Infrastructure Committee on S.A., Lim wants to look into how to “amend the issue and help students, especially freshmen walking back to north, feel safer at night,” she said in a message Tuesday night.

Lim has also joined the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, a prospect Lim said she was passionate about. She was motivated to run for the position after reports that students shouted “Build a wall” outside the Latino Living Center earlier this semester.

“I love the quote ‘if not me, who? if not now, when?’ I feel like that encompasses my motivations and my passions,” she said. “I’m a go-getter and I feel like we all have a duty to stand up to injustices and advocate for people whose voices aren’t heard as often.”

Like Lim, Sim also pointed to goals for inclusion as his motivation to run for representative, saying that he wants “Cornell to be an inclusive campus and a safe space for every student.”

To accomplish this goal, Sim said in a message that this would include “implementing hardline policies against hate speech and supporting minority groups.” This goal would also include policies for “reducing student financial burden.”

“Cornell’s tuition is expensive enough but other fees can add up, creating hardships especially for students from a lower-income background,” Sim said. “I plan to make campus-life affordable by reducing living costs and maximizing the allocative efficiency of the Student Activities Fee.”

For Alex Chowdhury ’20, he was motivated to run for representative because of the impact and effect of the Student Assembly, he said.

“The Cornell Student Assembly has a unique power delegation (in contrast with that of other universities student governments) that allows it to make real change for the Cornell community,” Chowdhury said.