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Savannah Putnam wins student body president election

<p>Savannah Putnam reacts to winning the 2018 UNC Student Body President Election on Feb. 13.</p>
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Savannah Putnam reacts to winning the 2018 UNC Student Body President Election on Feb. 13.

Correction: In an earlier version of this article, Wil Wiener's name was incorrectly spelled. The story has been updated and The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error. 

In the first election season after a reworking of student government procedures, Savannah Putnam was declared the winner. Results were announced in the Student Union Tuesday night.

Putnam ran against Garima Tomar. The two juniors introduced their ideas about how student government should be changed, in a time when the role of the organization is a topic of debate within the student body and student government itself.

Putnam highlighted mental health awareness as the focal point of her campaign, calling for Counseling and Psychological Services to be reformed. She said the mental health service has failed some of her close friends, and it needs to be reworked so it can adequately serve the student body it’s designed to protect. 

Senior Karli Krasnipol ran Putnam's campaign, and said she was thrilled to see the team’s work end in a victory. Putnam and her staff heard the results outside of Alpine Bagel and erupted in applause when they heard the news.

“We've been working for it for months, preparing, getting your team together and getting a platform you believe in,” Krasnipol said.

Putnam is now preparing to implement her platform. 

“Everything in our platform is feasible and attainable,” Putnam said. 

She said she understands the limits of her office and wants to use her position to promote research and new policies.

“We got a lot of students excited about getting involved," Putnam said. "That's something I want to carry over throughout the rest of the year.”

When Tomar saw the results, she said she is grateful for her team.

"Their steadfast commitment and support during this process has left me so humbled," Tomar said. "I am proud that our team took such bold stance calling for desperately needed student government reform. I'm excited to see the work of the Putnam administration."

This election was the first in which a student body president was elected, rather than an election for an undergraduate president. Putnam’s victory will be followed by an election in the graduate student body to elect a Graduate Professional Student Federation President. Had a graduate student ran and won for student body president, the undergraduates would subsequently elect an undergraduate president. The Student Body President will take a seat on the Board of Trustees and represents both undergraduate and graduate students. 

Other winners in the 2018 Spring General Election are:

Senior Class President and Vice President: Sean Kurz and Adina Girmay

Undergraduate Senate District 1: Masaaki Kamiya, Abhishek Shankar, Ahaj Shroff, Claire Staresinic, Erin Staley, Jeet Galani, Mary Caitlyn McKinney, Tanner Henson, Wil Wiener, Jack Purdie, Sosa Evbuomwan, Rebecca Ukaegbu

Undergraduate Senate District 2: None

Undergraduate Senate District 4: Beth Macon

Undergraduate Senate District 5: Luke Cullifer

Undergraduate Senate District 6: Baxter Barrett, Rachel Augustine, Stanley Sun

Undergraduate Senate District 7: Chase Roycroft, Holden Rogers

Undergraduate Senate District 8: None

Undergraduate Senate District 9: None

Results for the Carolina Athletics Association President, Residence Hall Association President  and select Senate seats are pending. 

Results for District 3 representatives, who would represent students majoring in the social sciences, have been voided due to an error in which a candidate supposed to be on the ballot was omitted. A reelection will take place on Feb. 20 from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Reporting contributed by Cy Neff


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