New '06 President and Freshman Council elected

By Jamie Rosen
Published October 8th 2004 in The Miscellany News
Vassar students already started voting this year. Before the nation’s presidential elections, students exercised their right to vote in the Vassar Student Association (VSA) elections on Sept. 28 and 29. About 920 voters elected representatives for the freshman council, campus committees and the Class of 2006 president.

Board of Elections co-chair Philip Clark ’05 said that Vassar’s Instant Runoff Voting system ran smoothly. “What this voting system basically demands is that any candidate winning the election gets 50 percent plus one of the votes of people who are voting,” said Board of Elections co-chair Joshua Stevenson ’05.

Clark said the VSA posted specific numbers of votes for each candidate to promote transparency. “Some people think that electronic voting is scary,” he said. “By putting the votes online, it gives people something they can really dig into.”

According to ’06 vice-president Tara Pyle, the VSA’s original plan to appoint a 2006 class president turned out to be unconstitutional. The VSA gave the council the prerogative to decide about the appointment, Stevenson said.

“On the day that the appointment was to take place, they had a debate,” he said. “The council chose not to appoint. It’s really not up to a 16-person council.”

Despite the late election, Class of 2006 president Kelsey Woods is confident in her abilities. “It’s kind of odd because everyone else has been learning what to do and doing it for a month, but I think I can pick it up pretty quickly,” she said. “Our class really needs to step up and do some stuff because next year we’re going to be seniors and we have a lot of things we’ll need to do.”

New representatives have already formulated ideas to improve campus life. “I plan to suggest hiring a paid peer support group to sit by the tap to prevent underage drinking [at parties],” said Joseph Chipps, ’08 representative for the Committee on College Life.

Concerned by the disconnect between Poughkeepsie and Vassar, Lulu Caruso ’07, representative for the Committee on Community Relations, plans to address this. “I really like Poughkeepsie a lot, and I feel like I’ve learned more in Poughkeepsie than on campus,” she said.

Lily Huang is the ’08 representative on the Committee on Community Relations. Students elected three new College Regulation Panel alternates: Alecsandra Vlaicu ’07, Kenneth Simons ’08 and Amy Ulloa ’07.

Ramina Mirmortazavi, ’08 representative for the Residential Life Advisory Committee, said she plans to modify wellness procedures, simplify the housing application, and enhance the ResLife questionnaire for roommate pairing.

Morgan Warners ’08, representative for the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid will address Vassar’s gender balance. “Some freshmen are concerned about the gender balance in the freshman class, because the class has vastly more women than men,” she said. “Also, diversity is going to be something to look into.”

Two new representatives were elected for the Student Curriculum Committee. Claire Van Ness ’07 will focus on arts and languages, and Jay Kang ’05 on natural sciences. Reese Isaacson is the new ’08 representative for the Health and Counseling Advisory Committee.

“The Freshman Council, comprised of representatives from all nine dorms, sees itself as an extension of the freshman class, and hopes to provide an active forum for voices and needs to be heard,” said Main representative Tyler Robinson ’08. “We basically have a two-pronged attack: to accurately represent the freshman in the VSA, and to plan boss-rocking-awesome events for the frosh.”

Jewett representative Colin Sanders ’08 said he hopes to encourage dorm competitions, such as snow-making and Jeopardy. “Artisic, athletic and/or intellectual contests would be a great way both to build dorm spirit and continue friendly—no eggs or ketchup—competition between the dorms,” he said.

“As for school policies, I’d like to address and possibly change the penalty for underage drinking to at least make the consequences constructive by implementing community service or similar projects instead of penalties like being red-flagged at the Mug,” said Josselyn representative Peter Horn ’08.

Noyes representative Maria Hristova ’08 said she plans to facilitate communication between freshmen and coordinate fun activities.

Other elected freshman representatives include Ketan Thanki for Davison, Heidi Genrich for Strong, Shelby Jergens for Raymond, Luke Parker for Cushing, and Kyle Giunta for Lathrop.