College Council (CC) elections for the Spring semester concluded on Saturday and that evening outgoing Co-Presidents Michelle Bal ’17 and Caitlin Buckley ’17 sent their final campus-wide CC email announcing the incoming representatives. Students voted in races of varied contestation for all positions, including the year-long executive positions of president, treasurer and vice presidents as well as semester-long positions of class representatives, parliamentarian and assistant treasurer.
Web Farabow ’18 and Allegra Simon ’18 will serve as co-presidents. With 609 votes, Farabow and Simon won the co-presidency over Amanni Fernandez ’18 and the ticket of Liam Pembroke ’18 and Pierceson Brown ’18. The presidential race garnered the greatest voter turnout yet, with just over 46 percent of the student body participating.
“Both Allegra and Web have devoted a substantial amount of their time here at Williams to serving the student body on College Council,” Fernandez, who received the second greatest number of votes in the presidential race, said. Fernandez emphasized the importance of diversity and acceptance at the College during her campaign and expressed confidence that Farabow and Simon will effectively address these issues. “I have no doubt that their co-presidency will bring us a step closer in achieving an atmosphere amongst our student body that prides itself on being inclusive,” she said.
Haley Lescinsky ’18, who previously served as a Class of 2018 Representative, will serve as CC treasurer. Lescinsky emphasized her experience on the Financial Committee as important for a successful term as treasurer. She was unopposed in her campaign.
Andres Villasmil Ocando ’20 will accompany her as assistant treasurer for the spring semester. This is Villasmil Ocando’s second semester in the position, a streak he hopes will assist him in “learning the ins and outs of the duties that the treasurer holds, so that [he] may, in the future, run for College Council Treasurer.”
Chetan Patel ’18 and Arielle Rawlings ’18 won the vice presidential race for academic affairs, beating Jason Kim ’19. Formerly serving as VP of Student Organizations and Class of 2018 Representative, respectively, Patel and Rawlings will split the year-long vice presidential term to accommodate Rawlings studying abroad in India this semester. Patel will begin serving on Tuesday and Rawlings will take over the position next fall.
Morgan Spellman ’18 will serve as vice president for community and diversity. She won the position by a margin of nine votes in the most hotly-contested campaign for a VP position. Previously, she served as a Class of 2018 Representative after transferring to the College from Boston University this past fall.
Michael Rubel ’19 will continue to serve as VP for communications. This will be his second semester holding the position. Rubel proposed the amendment that created the position last spring and hopes to spend this semester continuing the work he did in the fall. “[I hope to begin] larger-scale projects, including PSA campaigns surrounding alcohol and party policy on campus,” Rubel said.
Voters re-elected Ben Gips ’19 to the position of vice president for student affairs in an unopposed race. After also running unopposed, Maria Fernanda Heredia ’20 will serve as this year’s vice president for student organizations. She previously held the position of Williams Hall representative for the first-year class and sat on the Student Organizations Committee during her first semester on CC. The uncontested parliamentarian race went to Spenny Carrillo ’20. He takes the position over from Simon.
The class of 2017 representatives for spring semester will be Tressa Palcheck ’17, Harold Theurer ’17, Kevin Mercadante ’17 and Hanson Koota ’17. The six-person race saw increased competition from its fall counterpart, in which only two students ran and 23 percent of seniors voted. This past week, 40 percent of seniors took advantage of the opportunity to vote in their final CC election.
With so many members of the class of 2018’s active CC representatives moving onto executive positions, only three students ran for the class of 2018 Representatives positions. The default winners were Jordan Carfino ’18, Tony Fitzgerald ’18 and Karl Böcker ’18. Mairead Reynolds ’18 won as a write-in candidate with only eight votes.
Six sophomores competed in the race for the four Class of 2019 representative positions. The winners and incoming representatives are Ziev Dalsheim-Kahane ’19, Lizzy Hibbard ’19, Abel Romero ’19 and Will Turett ’19.
The race for class of 2020 representatives was the most contested of any CC race this spring, with 10 students campaigning for the positions. The first-year CC representation model shifts each spring semester from dorm-oriented housing representation to full-class elections. The incoming representatives are Vijay Kadiyala ’20, Carlos Cabrera-Lomeli ’20, Christopher Mykrantz ’20 and Michael Ludwig ’20.
A total of 1056 students voted in the spring elections, making total voter participation 49 percent. Average voter turnout for the individual races was 39 percent, up from 35 percent in the fall elections. With many of the spring campaigns emphasizing the importance of student engagement in CC, the incoming representatives and executive board members plan to develop methods and events to encourage student participation and increase voter turnout in future CC elections.
Rubel said he was disappointed with voter turnout in this election. “We had real success in raising voter turnout last year with our fun ‘Civic Duty and Shake Your Booty’ event, so I’ll be organizing similar events going forward during my time as VP,” Rubel said. “Otherwise, I’m planning to explore different ballot software so we can present a more dynamic and accessible ballot to students. If it’s easier to see and fill out, more people will just do that.”
The new CC term began yesterday at a meeting where the outgoing representatives passed the torch to their incoming counterparts.