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Gerard Basalla, Danielle Di Scala elected Ohio State USG president, vice president

Undergraduate Student Government Vice President-elect Danielle Di Scala (left) and USG President-elect Gerard Basalla (right) pose for a campaign photo at OSU. Credit: Courtesy of Braden Heyd

Undergraduate Student Government Vice President-elect Danielle Di Scala (left) and USG President-elect Gerard Basalla (right) pose for a photo at OSU. Credit: Courtesy of Braden Heyd

After more than a week of campaigning, Gerard Basalla and Danielle Di Scala have been elected as the Ohio State Undergraduate Student Government president and vice president for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Basalla, a third-year in political science and strategic communication, and Di Scala, a third-year in political science, won with 66.1 percent of the vote with 4,827 votes cast, according to USG election results.

President-elect Basalla and Vice President-elect Di Scala ran unopposed as the only executive duo on the ballot. A total of 7,299 votes were cast for the positions.

“We are really excited to get to work for Ohio State students. We know USG has a lot to improve upon, and we are ready to make the changes necessary,” Basalla and Di Scala said in a joint statement Thursday evening.

Cin’Quan Haney, a third-year in physics, and Curtis Henry, a third-year in sports industry, who ran for president and vice president as write-in candidates, received 25.1 percent of votes cast. They received 1,830 votes of the total 2,472 write-in votes. The results stated 21 votes were cast for Haney only, with 50 votes cast for Henry only.

The two candidates running as write-ins announced their campaign, called “Write In Haney and Henry,” via Twitter and Instagram. Their campaign focused on increasing diversity within USG to serve more of the campus community.

First, we would like to congratulate Danielle and Gerard on their victory,” Haney and Henry said Thursday evening in an emailed statement. “We believe much of their policy has the ability to change Ohio State for the better, and we look forward to these changes being implemented.”

They added that they were disappointed with the loss but said they aim to continue promoting dialogue among students, announcing the emergence of the United Project, which they described as “a coalition of student advocates working together to further the ideas voiced in the community dialogues of our campaign.”

During their campaign, Basalla and Di Scala released a 77-page platform that focused largely on increasing affordability at OSU.

“Affordability is one of the biggest parts that I care about,” Basalla said on March 1. “I pay for college myself, so for me, I believe fundamentally that every student should be able to go here, and they shouldn’t be worrying about money.”

Basalla added he plans to review tuition allocation in an effort to increase transparency.

“Things like dining or STEP are very large things, but then you look at course fees; you have people in physics paying $300 for course fees, and we don’t even know where that goes. We’ve frozen in-state tuition, but out-of-state students are really facing a gigantic burden, and we have to make sure that they’re given scholarship opportunities. All those things together and many other things fit under affordability, which is going to be a top priority for me,” he said.

Di Scala added that another goal is to work more directly with students and increase the amount of face-to-face interaction.

“I think it’s really important to educate our student body because a lot of people don’t know exactly what USG does, and that’s a problem,” she said. “Increasing that transparency and going to our constituents instead of waiting for them to come to us is something we plan to do. I think that outreach is a huge thing that I would like to work on and change the way we interact with students on campus.”

Update March 11: This article was updated to include comment from write-in candidates Cin’Quan Haney and Curtis Henry.

One comment

  1. Not everyone can afford college. For that to happen, tax payers will need to share that burden, which is totally ridiculous. While I agree tuition rates are high at many universities and colleges around the world, I cannot see any justification Basalla can make to allow everyone to attend college. We live in a free market economy and there will be winners and losers. That’s Econ 101!

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