From Thursday to Sunday, students voted online in the bi-annual College Council (CC) elections.
The fall electoral contests consisted of races for CC treasurer, CC assistant treasurer, CC class representatives, representatives on the Honor and Discipline Committee and representatives on the newly reformed Honorary Degrees Committee.
With 381 votes tabulated between the four class years, the election for treasurer was the biggest contest of this election season. Victoria Onuzuruike ’17, who formerly served as assistant treasurer of College Council, won the race with 51.71 percent of the vote and Alyssa Epstein ’18 was elected as this year’s assistant treasurer with 51.06 percent of the vote.
Maggie Hughes ’15, Emily Fox ’15, Emalie Rott ’15 and Jesper Bodd ’15 were elected as Class of 2015 representatives. Jochebed Bogunjoko ’16, Gideon Hess ’16, Meghana Vunnamadala ’16 and Maddie Epsten ’16 were elected as Class of 2016 representatives. Michelle Bal ’17, Lucas Elek ’17, Lia Lee ’17 and Funmi Adejobi ’17 were elected as Class of 2017 representatives.
Zach Wood ’18, Web Farabow ’18, Stephanie Cedillo ’18 and Allegra Simon ’18 won Sage Hall, Williams Hall, Armstrong/Pratt and Mills/Dennett representatives, respectively.
Each class also elected members for the Honor and Discipline Committee. The Class of 2016 elected Ahmad Green-Hayes ’16 and Vunnamadala in a split ticket and Paul Friedrich ’16; the Class of 2017 elected Walford Campbell ’17 and Yuv Khosla ’17; and the Class of 2018 elected Adam Pollack ’18 and Cassandra Pruitt ’18.
Students also voted on the new additions to the Honorary Degrees Committee. The Class of 2015 elected Camila Miller ’15; the class of 2016 elected Allison Wu ’16; and the Class of 2017 elected Laura Lee ’17, Varun Bhadkamkar ’17 and Will Sager ’17.
Though turnout was relatively low compared with past elections for treasurer, with 17.75 percent of the student body voting, CC Co-president Erica Moszkowski ’15 explained that because this election is in the fall rather than the spring – when the treasurer, along with the CC co-presidents and vice-presidents, are normally elected – there was lower voter turnout.
However, Moszkowski was impressed with the amount of candidates vying for the available positions. “We can say that we’re thrilled with the number of self-noms we received – we’re really excited to see such a competitive election,” Moszkowski said. “It’s fantastic to see that so many people want to contribute in so many ways.”
The only major change to this year’s election was the addition of the six student seats on the Honorary Degrees Committee. Though the Committee previously included four members of the student body, the College opted to include greater student representation on the Committee as a result of the controversy surrounding the decision last year to award former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg an honorary degree and to invite him to speak at Commencement. The newly elected members will all serve on the Committee until they graduate from the College, and all future elections for seats on the Committee will be exclusively open to sophomores unless another member leaves the Committee.
The newly elected members are excited to work with the student body. Sager said, “I’m excited to have the chance to represent Williams students in the process of selecting honorary degree recipients. I plan on working with my fellow representatives on the Committee and listening to my fellow students to ensure that the recipients chosen to receive this prestigious honor reflect the values we share as a community.”
Bhadkamkar added, “I’m really excited to be a member of the Honorary Degrees Committee. The honorary degrees awarded and the Commencement speaker should represent the spirit and values of current Williams students, and I’m glad I get to play a role in the selections. I look forward to the next three years on the Committee.”
Khosla is also looking forward to serving on the Committee to work “particularly with international students who may struggle adapting to the novelty of the American honor code and disciplinary practice.”
The winners of the various elections have started to think about their goals for their time in office. “I’m looking forward to forming connections between the [first-year] class and CC so that everyone can better understand how the organization functions and how they can benefit from it. The [first-year] representatives had a great idea session today, and we are looking forward to working on some things that will directly benefit our class,” Farabow said. Farabow was elected by 30.59 percent of Williams Hall voters to represent the interests of his hallmates in the vote in the race with the highest percent turnout of all the contests, with 59.44 percent of Williams Hall voting.
Hughes, who will be serving on CC for the first time this fall, expressed similar sentiments: “Although it’s my senior year, I’m a fresh face to [CC] and am greatly looking forward to advocating for more 2015 class events.” Hughes mentioned a farewell to the old Log party as one potential idea.
Onuzuruike added: “I’ve formed some great relationships with fantastic people, and I am happy to do more for the College campus.” She explained that one of her goals for this year is to set a deadline for reimbursements and other forms so people can “get their money back in a timely, less stressful manner.”
The first CC meeting is on Wednesday, Oct. 1st at 7:30 p.m.