Updated: USG President Jackson ’15 re-elected with 68 percent of vote| Nov 29, 2013
USG president Shawon Jackson ’15 won his bid for reelection, chief elections manager Rachel Nam ’15 announced in an email sent by Jackson to the undergraduate student body last Friday afternoon.
Jackson received 68.36 percent of the vote, with 1,303 students voting in his favor. His opponent, Class of 2015 senator Zach Ogle, received 603 votes.
“I’m very excited that I was reelected and I’m looking forward to another year,” Jackson said.
Jackson originallyentered the race uncontested, as Ogle was initially disqualified for neglecting to hand in a third registration document on time. Ogle was later permitted to run after avote by the USG Senateto allow his candidacy.
“Obviously, I am disappointed that I won’t get the chance to put my ideas into practice,” Ogle said of his loss. When asked if he thought his late entry into the race had affected the outcome of the race, Ogle said that he did not know, and that he did not know if it was necessarily useful to speculate on that.
Jackson received a majority of the votes in all four classes, though the breakdown was closest in the Class of 2015.
Logan Roth ’15 will serve as Social Committee chair. He received 57.05 percent of the vote, while opponent and current Class of 2016 senator Eduardo Lima received 42.95 percent. The race was split along class year lines, with juniors and seniors voting overwhelmingly for Roth, while Lima received the majority of support from the freshman and sophomore classes.
Jimmy Baase ’15 won the position of Academics Committee chair with 62.27 percent of votes. Baase had a wide lead among each of the classes except the freshman class, in which his opponent, Richard Peay ’17, led by a small margin of 29 votes.
Paul Riley ’15 will serve as Campus and Community Affairs chair, having received 66.62 percent of the vote. Riley, who has served in USG as a U-Councilor for the past year and a half, led his opponents, Raina Sun ’16 and Julie Chong ’17, in a landslide in each of the classes.
Ella Cheng ’16, who ran unopposed for University Student Life Committee chair, received 100 percent of votes cast for the position. Cheng is a former staff writer for The Daily Princetonian.
Chris Shin and Kishan Bhatt were elected as the Class of 2017 senators with 185 and 179 votes, respectively. Twelve students ran for the two positions, but none of the other candidates except the victors were able to garner at least 12 percent of the freshman vote.
Yoni Benyamini and Michael Cho were elected as the Class of 2016 senators, receiving 259 and 176 votes, respectively. Of the four students who ran for the two positions, the other two candidates came just a few votes short of the votes received by Cho. Current projects manager George Jian ’16 received 170 votes and Macy Manning ’16 received 167 votes.
Class of 2015 senator Mariana Bagneris won her bid for reelection. As Bagneris was the only student who ran to represent the Class of 2015 in the Senate, the second senator will be selected by an appointment process.
Ogle, who currently serves as a Class of 2015 senator, said he’ll “have to see” whether he would be interested in being considered for the second senator position next year.
Molly Stoneman ’16 was elected as vice president and Regina Cai ’15 was elected as treasurer. Both candidates ran in uncontested elections.
“I just wanted to congratulate all the other candidates that were elected,” Jackson said. “I wanted to thank all the candidates that did run in the election because it’s important for the student body to have options.”
According to Nam, 1,981 students voted in total — approximately 38 percent of the undergraduate student body. By class, 389 seniors voted, 511 juniors voted, 529 sophomores voted and 552 freshmen voted.
This year's turnout was down among all classes from last year's.A year ago, a total of 2,351 students voted. Of these, 453 were seniors, 628 were juniors, 626 were sophomores and 644 were freshmen.
"I think that's a pretty low percentage of the student body that turned out to vote, and it would be nice to see more students taking an interest in who the student government leadership is,” Ogle said. “Do I think that more could have been done? I don’t necessarily know that it's something that could have been done differently in an election season. I think that it’s just USG as a whole needs to be a bit more responsive to the student body and then maybe the student body will pay a little more attention in voting in the elections.”
Nam, on the other hand, said that she thinks “it’s a good turnout,” adding that she believes that “having more candidates for the vice president position would have helped increase the voter turnout.”
In the future, Nam said USG will work on outreach projects to different groups on campus or will individually reach out to students to garner interest in the elected positions. She said that with greater transparency about what each position does, students will have a more accurate understanding of what USG is and will “hopefully get more excited about the work that USG does.”