The Undergraduate Student Government held their semesterly Senate elections last week and they released the results Sunday. The student body also passed a constitutional referendum which enacted many changes to the USG constitution.
There were 37 senators elected into the USG Senate, including 32 new senators. Of the 10 senators seeking re-election, seven were re-elected to their former seat or a new one.
“We are incredibly happy with our election results, as we were able to fill a majority of the seats,” USG PR Director Chloe Jihae Son said. “This hasn’t occurred for some time now, until these current elections. We are ecstatic to welcome one of the most diverse Senate bodies USG has had, and hope to fill all seats in the Spring election.”
Among those to lose re-election was Chairperson Damani Douglas, who lost narrowly in the most contentious race held. Douglas will now fulfill just that role with no Senate vote or power to push legislation. Aaron Hooker also lost in the same race and another senator dropped out entirely.
The referendum, which was passed with a 95% vote, passed changes including: removing the appointment of vice chairpersons, delaying the election of residential zone senators from three weeks to five weeks and removing the election oversight power for the spring elections from the current Elections committee.
“Ultimately, this was a huge success for USG and the undergraduate student body in its entirety as we work toward greater inclusivity and diversity,” Son said. “Now, with more senators dedicated to this initiative, will increase productivity and encourage students to advocate for themselves and their peers.”
There were few highly contested races, as of them had as many seats as they did people trying to fill them. However, the two Werth Tower Senate seats were as the top four candidates were all within six votes of one another, with the eventual seats going to Senator Christine Jorquera and Senator Noel Mitchell.
There are still vacancies in the Senate, as McMahon, the Neag school, Northwood and Ratcliffe Hicks all remain unrepresented. which accounts for five empty Senate seats. There are 21 total vacant seats
Just 5.4% of undergraduate students voted in this election, or just 1,031 total students. Of the students that voted, 719 cast their opinions on the proposed referendum, or just under 3.8% of the over 19,000 student population, according to usnews.com, at UConn.
Just eight of the 26 Senate races garnered 50 or more votes from the student body, signaling a lack of participation by the people they govern. Just three of those races had vote totals of 100 or more.
USG could not be reached for comment despite multiple attempts to do so.
USG is holding elections for the election of their new comptroller on Wednesday Oct. 2 after the impeachment of the former comptroller last month.
This story has been corrected to fix the following mistakes: incorrectly claiming Damani Douglas was the sole senator to not achieve re-election when there were actually three and the total number of undergraduates at UConn. The original story said there were 24,000 undergraduates. This error threw off the percent of voters for the elections and referendum vote.
Mike Mavredakis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @mmavredakis.