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The Daily Tar Heel

Rouhanifard, Albright to Lead Senior Class

Rouhanifard and Albright received 1,139 of the votes in the runoff election, accounting for 68.5 percent of the total votes cast.

The pair beat out Tinu Akintola and David McIntosh, who garnered 524 votes in the senior class election.

The announcement of the election results concluded four weeks of campaigning, and Rouhanifard and Albright marked the end of their efforts by quickly embracing.

Rouhanifard said that hug will stand out in his mind when he reflects on the campaign's final moment. "I just told him, 'Thanks for doing this with me,'" Rouhanifard said. "We both thanked each other for sticking this out to the very end."

The two running mates have formerly worked together organizing events for Carolina Cancer Focus, and they said they are looking forward to collaborating in a new role.

Albright said he and Rouhanifard spent the seconds before the announcement reflecting on the weeks of work their supporters have put into the campaign.

"It was probably only five seconds, but it felt like an eternity," Albright said. "Before and after the announcement was made, we thought of these amazing people who helped us out."

Akintola and McIntosh reacted calmly to the announcement and were quick to congratulate their opponents.

Moments after the announcement, Akintola echoed the praise Rouhanifard had for campaign supporters. "I'll remember all the great people who helped us out," Akintola said. "It was a great opportunity to work with such fantastic people."

McIntosh said that although he was disappointed, he would look back on the campaign with positive memories. "There are no regrets here," McIntosh said. "It's like any athletic competition -- you give 100 percent and don't look back. We did all we could do."

Akintola and McIntosh said they have no immediate desire to apply for positions as senior marshals but said they would welcome the inclusion of any of their platform ideas into Rouhanifard and Albright's efforts next year.

Rouhanifard said he is interested in incorporating Akintola and McIntosh's plans to increase graduation rates by adding swim test dates and improving academic advising, ideas that were originally on the platforms of candidates Chessa Huff and Kim Washington. "A lot of the other candidates had good ideas, and we want to help those people see those ideas grow into fruition," Rouhanifard said.

Albright said he and Rouhanifard are relieved to have the pressures of campaigning behind them. He said they were planning to celebrate at Bottoms Up because of a fund-raiser the bar was holding for the UNC Dance Marathon.

But Albright also said it would initially feel strange to return to post-election life as a student.

"It's weird to think that it's all over," Albright said. "We were thinking about how we might go into Pit withdrawal, walking by the Pit and not seeing campaign people there."

As he made phone calls and hugged supporters with tears welling in his eyes, Rouhanifard said he was enjoying the moment, even if the feeling of winning the election has yet to make a full emotional impact.

"It seems like a cliche, but it really hasn't sunk in yet."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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