Speaker of Senate Mitchell Rosenberg and Junior Class Senator Sarah Tabsh were elected student government president and vice president respectively March 15.
The results were announced at about 6 p.m. in the Attallah Piazza.
“I’m ecstatic and humbled. I’m excited to get to work,” Rosenberg told The Panther. “I made a point to not expect anything – you can ask Sarah how anxious I’ve been.”
The election, which was officially uncontested besides write-in candidates Maggie Mirrione and Lucas Bugbee, saw a decrease in voter turnout compared to last year’s election, with about 950 students – or 15 percent of the student body – voting this year, according to Director of Elections Justice Crudup. Last year’s presidential election saw 1,341 voters, or 22 percent of the student body.
Rosenberg received 73 percent of the votes for president, while Tabsh received 74 percent of the votes for vice president.
Maggie Mirrione, the write-in candidate for president, received 27 percent of the votes for president. Lucas Bugbee, the write-in candidate for vice president, received 26 percent of the votes for vice-president.
Tabsh said that the Mirrione and Bugbee’s desire to join student government at the presidential level was “admirable.” Neither Mirrione nor Bugbee has had any previous student government experience.
“Had (the election) been completely uncontested, I think the voter turnout would have been lower and we would not have been held accountable as much,” Tabsh said.
Rosenberg, who is a sophomore, said that he believes the role of student government president needs to be adapted to be less administrative. Rosenberg is the first sophomore to run for student government president since 2010.
“(The role of president should be) less just answering emails and attending meetings, and way more being that chief advocate and figurehead that’s actually out there doing things,” Rosenberg said. “We promised a lot of things on our platform, and we don’t for a second think, ‘Oh, well, we’ll do that last,’ or ‘We won’t think about that for a while.’ From day one, we want to push all these and see how much progress we can make.”
Rosenberg and Tabsh said that the main issues the pair wants to focus on next year are advocacies to improve the student health center, psychological counseling and the fitness center, and improve campus sustainability.
Rosenberg said that he has already begun working on sending out a student satisfaction survey through the university, which he said received about 2,500 responses.
“We’ve set up meetings after the break with Advanced Exercise, which is the company that put together our fitness center, to sit down and go over the survey results with them and propose what our additions would look like,” Rosenberg said.
Tabsh said that, as vice president, she wants to prioritize campus sustainability. Tabsh said that she met with Sustainability Manager Mackenzie Crigger in January and wants to focus on smaller changes by working closely with students, the campus sustainability staff and Dean of Students Jerry Price.
“Down the line, I definitely see plastic as being less available on campus,” Tabsh said. “I would have to do a lot of student research. I wouldn’t want to cause a drastic change that’s not supported by the student body, because it is so different.”