This year’s SGI election produced the most split results in University history, with four winners from POWER and three from FORCE.
Sabino Curcio, of POWER, defeated Andre McDonald, of FORCE, to become the president of Student Government Inc. for the 2012 year. Taryn Glynn, chair of SGI elections committee, told the TORCH last week that Curcio won by only 25 votes.
The other winners included: Kevin Grover, of POWER, for vice president,; Marcial Zebaze, of POWER, for treasurer; Meredith Kenyon, of FORCE, for secretary; Ellen McBurney, of POWER, for senior senator; John Marchi, of FORCE, for junior senator; and Elizabeth Sheehan, of FORCE, for sophomore senator.
President-elect Curcio spoke with a reporter after the elections and discussed the victory. “It’s great,” Curcio said. “Obviously we have a split ticket again, and as we said from the start, we’re all leaders working together, joining tickets to continue to be the voice of the students and further our work with St. John’s University.”
The split ticket of both parties did not seem to bother current President Patrick Brewer. After the announcement last week, Brewer said he did not believe the two parties working together would be a problem.
“They have their work cut out for them,” Brewer said. “A split ticket is always hard to do. But I think they’ll come together quickly. There’s a lot of firsts this year—it was the first time someone was elected from abroad, first split as wide as this one. But I think they’ll ultimately be fine.”
Vice-President elect Grover, is the first candidate to be elected while overseas. Grover is currently in Europe on a Discover the World Program this semester. During debates he was able to answer questions through Skype.
Darren Morton, associate vice president for Student Affairs, announced that the voter turnout was less than last year. The number of voters dropped by 17%, he said, with 1,345 student votes. Last year 1,619 students voted in the election.
This year’s election also included suspensions for both tickets for various campaign violations. Last week, the TORCH reported that FORCE was suspended from campaigning on Mar. 29 – just hours before voting ended.
McDonald, who received 660 votes, told the TORCH after elections that he believed the lost hours hurt his ticket.
“I believe that if we had had that last 24 hours to campaign, we could have been there,” said McDonald. “It may have had a greater impact. But we gave it our best.”
Next year’s executive board faces a series of issues including a high budget from years past and distributing funds to student organizations.