Render wins UOSA presidency
Voter turnout set a new record, with 32.3 percent of eligible voters participating in the election.

By Andrew Nash
Published March 31st 2005 in Oklahoma Daily
In the highest-ever UOSA election turnout, Chelsea Render won both the general election and the instant runoff for UOSA president.
Render, international business and marketing junior, took home first place in the general election with 31.8 percent of the vote, 2,406 votes out of 7,571 total votes for UOSA president.
In the general election, Scott Mason, political science junior, came in second with 26.1 percent, 1,975 votes. Fifty votes behind him, at 1,925 votes and 25.4 percent, was Josh Woodward, economics and marketing junior. Ryan Conley, business and entrerepreneurship junior, came in fourth with 16.7 percent, or 1,265 votes.
A new election system allowed for an instant runoff to be held. Voters were asked for their second and subsequent choices for UOSA president.
In this system, Conley and Woodward were eliminated, and the runoff was held between Render and Mason.
Render ended the runoff with a total of 3,498 votes, 54.7 percent of the runoff election. Mason took 2,901 votes for 45.3 percent of the runoff election.
Render said she felt "fantastic" about the results.
"It feels great," she said. "We knew what we were working for, we knew we had a vision and it paid off. I'm so glad to hear the results."
Render is the current UOSA vice president under Dean Spears, international and area studies senior.
The 32.3 percent of eligible voters who voted was a record turnout for UOSA elections. The total number of voters was 7,675. The previous record number of voters was 6,969 in the 2001 election. There was a difference of 602 voters in the presidential election.
But in the presidential race, 7,571 students voted. Spears said he was surprised by the high turnout.
"I couldn't be more excited about how many students voted," Spears said. "We had more students than ever before vote in the election. This promises an exciting year ahead with students expecting many new programs."
Spears said he did not know the exact reason for the increase in voters but said he believes the increase could be due to UOSA influence.
"I mean, we showed the students that UOSA matters," he said. "We showed them it's important. As far as the biggest reason, I couldn't tell you."
Brandon Stichka, election chairman and math and economics senior, described the election as "eventful."
"You had the problems with rules and regulations, but I think the candidates were still able to run effective campaigns," Stichka said. "I look forward to the validation meeting."
Mason said he was pleased with the results of the election and said he was happy his campaign ran a clean race.
"I'm very pleased with the way things went," he said. "I'm very happy with the results. I think we made a difference in the election. I like that we respected the rules of the election, and I'd like to thank my volunteers."
Woodward, who faces post-election controversy over the use of a potentially trademarked symbol on his campaign material, said he enjoyed the campaign.
"It's been a great race," he said. "I'd like to thank all volunteers who helped."
Conley, who must deal with possible disqualification from the election for surpassing the maximum amount of fines, expressed good will to Render.
"We express congratulations to Chelsea Render; she ran a good race," he said. "We still plan on appealing the fines, but best of luck to her."
Liz Stevenson, social sciences and organizational studies junior, won the Campus Activities Council race with 53.5 percent, 3,123 votes. She defeated Chelsea Holmes, political science junior, who ended with 2,714 votes, 46.5 percent.
In the National Panhellenic Council race, Robert Smith defeated Carly Mitchell with 34 votes and 55.7 percent to Mitchell's 27 votes and 44.2 percent.
Jesse Trevino won the Latino Greek Council race with 18 votes, or 53.9 percent to Julissa Martis' 16 votes and 47.1 percent.