Will Leimenstoll was elected student body president Tuesday night, capturing 62.7 percent of the vote and decisively defeating his opponent Calvin Lewis Jr.
Tuesday’s runoff election was the culmination of an extra week of campaigning for Leimenstoll and Lewis, after neither candidate collected a majority of votes in last week’s general election.
Leimenstoll collected 47 percent of the vote in the general election.
Low turnout was one blemish on this year’s otherwise smooth election season. Only 4,600 students voted in Tuesday’s runoff election, representing the second-lowest turnout for any of the last eight runoff elections.
Not a single lawsuit was filed to the Board of Elections during student elections this year, a stark contrast from last year, when the board was flooded with complaints and the release of general election results was postponed for several days.
This year’s election spanned 28 days, 10 days fewer than last year’s, despite the fact that both featured runoff elections.
Lewis only narrowly qualified for the runoff election, beating out former candidate Tim Longest for second place by just four votes.
That small margin, combined with complaints from some students that technological glitches kept them from voting, prompted the Board of Elections to consider redoing the general election Wednesday. But the board instead voted to certify the results.
In the race for senior class presidents, Tim Palmer and Nora Chan gathered 52.2 percent of the vote, beating out Adam Jutha and Sarah Kaminer.
Association of Student Governments
The University’s student body decided Tuesday to remain a part of an organization that benefits from an annual $1 fee from all students in the system.
In a 57.4 percent to 40.8 percent vote, students opted to keep UNC’s participation in the UNC Association of Student Governments — an organization made up of student body presidents and delegates from each of the 17 UNC-system schools.
Participation in the organization has been a contested issue during this year’s student body president election, and members of UNC’s Student Congress approved Feb. 7 a resolution to place the University’s participation in ASG on the run-off ballot as a referendum.
ASG meets monthly at a different UNC campus to discuss issues impacting students, such as tuition increases, budget cuts and other program proposals that he association works to implement.
But the association has also faced criticism throughout its history and has faced claims that it absorption of fees totaling $221,727 is a waste.
Other schools have left the association before while students continued to pay the annual $1 fee. But eventually the school’s delegates returned to the association.
This year’s critics say the organization hasn’t been as effective as it could have been, targeting the association’s president Atul Bhula for his lack of a voice at UNC-system Board of Governors meetings.
But the resolution’s sponsor Marc Seelinger, a vocal critic of ASG, has never been to an ASG meeting.
“Going to a meeting is useful for understanding an organization,” Seelinger said. “I don’t think it’s necessary.”
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