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Class of 1998 votes to nominate three seniors for trustee position

The final election for the University's young alumni trustee is one step closer after a primary election narrowed the candidates to Jon Hess '98, Colleen Shanahan '98 and Jeff Siegel '98.

Near the end of January, the Alumni Council sent a letter to all seniors requesting anyone interested in becoming a young alumni trustee to come to an informational meeting Feb. 4.

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Of the seniors who attended, 23 returned five days later with 50 signatures and a petition.

The primary election, which ran from Feb. 19 to March 3, eliminated all but three candidates. The three winners expressed excitement about the prospect of being elected the next young alumni trustee.

"I've really enjoyed my four years here," Hess said. "I see the young alumni trustee as a position from which I could maintain my relationship with the University and give back to the University."

According to Associate Director of Class and Regional Affairs Adrienne Rubin '88, the position of young alumni trustee was created in 1969.

"There is a value to be added to have someone close to campus on the board," Rubin said. "Very few schools have the same set up."

Student voices

Shanahan said she believes the position allows the trustees to remain connected to students' opinions.

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"The most important role as a young alumni trustee is to get student perspective and to keep in touch with the campus," she said.

Siegel also stressed the importance of students' viewpoints. "Whoever wins needs to be able to use his or her personal experiences in addition to informal contacts to get the pulse of the student body," Siegel said.

"There are a lot of important issues facing the University. It's important to have a strong trustee to promote student advancement and the overall quality of University," he added.

To advance to the final round the candidates had to secure the greatest number of first place votes, White said.

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"The voting process helps to ensure that winners have broad support in the alumni body," he added. The final round of voting garners a broader pool of votes than the primary because it is open to members of the present junior and senior classes as well as the two most recently graduated classes.

"No matter who wins, the Class of 1998 and the University have a strong prospect for the young alumni trustee," Siegel said.

The board does not allow candidates to campaign in the final round, but in the primary round the candidates collectively decide whether they want to campaign or not, White said.

"We're already working on the ballot," Rubin said.

The newly appointed Young Alumni Trustee will serve for four years beginning July 1, 1998.

Ann Halliday, associate secretary and special assistant to the president explained that there are three other types of trustees. Alumni trustees serve four years and are elected by various alumni groups. Term and charter trustees, elected by the Board of Trustees, serve for four and 10 years, respectively, Halliday added.

"In spite of the differences in the election process, no distinctions between the trustees are made," she said. "All trustees have the same responsibilities, authorities and rights."

Some young alumni trustees have returned to the Board of Trustees after the end of their four-year term. Marsha Levy-Warren '73 served as a young alumni trustee from 1973-77 and was recently elected as a charter trustee in 1991, Halliday said.

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