Students have elected juniors Christian Kurth and Ryan Park to serve as Undergraduate Student Government president and vice president, respectively, for the 2013-14 school year.
Kurth, the current USG director of university affairs, and Park, a Greek senator, received 2,925 votes, winning by a margin of 7.5 points. The presidential ticket of current USG Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Matthew Arkfeld and Greek Senator Alexander Cascante placed second with 2,499 votes.
Kurth said that he plans to begin his term by first building a strong foundation of leaders for their team, hiring individuals who will be able to best serve USG during the coming academic year.
“Our first plan of action will be to make sure we hire the best team possible by searching out the most talented and incredible individuals this school has to offer,” Kurth said.
Park agreed, saying that he and Kurth will play a crucial role in the execution of the goals of USG.
“We’ll start by making sure that our team is the best that it can be by bringing in those individuals who are ready to take on a new year of leadership, to work with us and to make USG the best that it can be in every aspect possible,” Park said.
This year’s election brought 5,631 students to the polls, nearly a 100-ballot increase from last year’s election, in which a total of 5,546 students participated.
Current USG President Mikey Geragos said that such a large turnout is encouraging for the elections team and for USG as a whole.
“I think for having just two candidates running, we had a great turnout,” Geragos said. “The turnout speaks volumes about how well the elections recruitment team did. We’re excited that people cared and were actually interested in voting. That’s obviously a big boost for this organization.”
Park said he is looking forward to working with and learning from Geragos and current USG Vice President Vinnie Prasad through the end of this year and into his term as vice president for the 2013-14 academic year.
“Although we are going to spend the rest of this year serving out our terms, I think that a large majority of that will be transitioning and learning from the current president and vice president, and making sure we can do everything that we can to be prepared for once we do set in officially and take over the reins,” Park said.
USG also announced the election of 12 new senators. No incumbents ran for re-election.
Sophomore Nicole Schrad, freshman Logan Heley and junior Jamie Dick were elected to serve as Greek senators.
Heley said that as a Greek senator he hopes to bridge relations between the Greek community and other student populations.
“My first goal is to make sure that the relationship between the Greek community and the rest of the university continues to be a positive one,” Heley said. “I’m hoping to help the Greek community connect with the rest of the students at the university.”
The six winners of the residential senator election were freshmen David Choi, Michael Nguyen and Samantha Cheng and sophomores Matthew Prusak, Brandon Chang and Brianna McRee.
Juniors Brett Ressler, Matthew Leiv and Lorin Winata were elected to serve as commuter senators.
Kurth said that now the election has concluded, he can begin focusing on his next leadership role within USG.
“I’m most looking forward to another year with this amazing organization. This will be my fourth year, and I couldn’t be more excited to begin leading it,” Kurth said.