The results are in.
Aftab Pureval and Deb Mason were announced as the winners of the Undergraduate Student Government presidential election last night.
When the names were announced, campaign members of the Pureval/Mason team tossed confetti, as their cheers filled the Ohio Union main lounge.
“I’m just very happy,” Pureval said. “I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight.” Pureval said he was going to celebrate with his friends and relax for the first time in awhile.
Pureval and Mason won with 47 percent of the total vote.
“It’s obviously been very hard,” Pureval said. “I’m just glad we were able to talk about the issues.”
Pureval and Mason were forced to stop campaigning April 12 because of a campaign violation. Disqualification from the race was a possible outcome that the team avoided.
“We’re really glad the students had the opportunity to vote and that it worked out for us,” Mason said. “We’re just pumped and ready to get started.”
Pureval said he is looking forward to tackling tough issues during his term.
“I really think that this year – with the presidential election going on, all this construction going on, the tuition hikes that are going to happen – I really think that students right now are engaged,” Pureval said. “It’s USG’s job to challenge those students and to empower them and provide them ways to get involved and get in part of the process.”
Voter turnout was about 16 percent with 6,133 votes cast, said Jody Clark, Elections Governance Board director. More students voted this year than last year.
“I’m really excited about that,” Clark said. “It is up from last year by about 1,000 (votes).”
The team of Jarrod Weiss and James Conway received the second highest votes with 1,418.
“I am disappointed,” Weiss said. “But we ran a good campaign. We liked being the underdogs – the ‘non-USG’ candidates – so second place is good.”
Ryan Jolley and Kara Silverman came in third with 1,238 votes.
Jolley said he looks forward to working with Pureval and Mason on all the issues discussed in the campaign.
“We worked hard and ran a clean campaign, so we can sleep well at night,” Jolley said.
Elizabeth Ghandakly and Geoffrey Moes received 361 votes. Attempts to reach Ghandakly and Moes were unsuccessful.
The tuition initiative passed with 4,197 votes in favor and 414 against.
The student-proposed initiative opposed an increase in tuition without evidence of improvement to the undergraduate experience, according to the USG Web site. It listed smaller class sizes, an increase in classes taught by tenured professors and more faculty and student interaction as examples of such evidence.
The winners of senate seats were also announced. Complete election results are available online at www.usgelections.net.