NIUnited ticket wins student election


NIUnited ticket wins student election

By Morgan Fink

DeKALB — The NIUnited ticket candidates were elected as the new Student Association executive board, although some called the election close.

Rachel Jacob, Student Association vice president, was elected president of the SA. She took 61 percent of the vote compared to A Better NIU’s Alex Forgue’s 23 percent. The Student Association’s new vice president, Khiree Cross, received 57 percent of the votes, while competitor Spencer Teplitz received 29 percent of the votes. Nathan Hays ran unopposed for NIUnited’s treasurer spot, receiving 77 percent of the votes. The remaining 23 percent of students who voted chose not to vote on a candidate for the treasurer position.

The vote for student trustee was the closest race, but NIUnited swept the ballot in the end with SA President Giuseppe LaGioia receiving 48 percent of the votes. Erin Hernandez, A Better NIU’s trustee candidate, received 37 percent of the vote.

“I feel really honored and excited,” Jacob said, who will be serving as the first female president since 1995. “It has definitely been a whirlwind experience, and I am so grateful that not only did I win, but the rest of NIUnited won, so we’re all very excited.”

Jacob will begin her role as the SA president in June 2017 and will serve until June 2018. Some duties that the president is responsible for include allocating funds, assisting the vice president or the treasurer in any matter and acting as chief spokesperson and liaison for the SA in all matters involving the university community and administration, according to the Student Association Constitution.

The vice president is responsible for tasks such as updating the Constitution and Bylaws within 30 days of the passage of amendments and overseeing all elections of the Student Association. The treasurer oversees the management of SA funds and presents student organization budgets to the SA Senate for approval.

Polling stations for the SA Executive and Senate elections were open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

A total of 1,609 students participated in this year’s election compared to the 2016 election that had a record low of 843 voters. In 2015, there was a total of 2,315 voters.

Student Association Senate election results have not yet been released.

One of the things Jacob wants to tackle during her first few months in office is the way NIU handles freshman orientation. She said she believes the first year as a college student is foundational, so by getting to students early on in their college career, the campus can better shape their experiences.

Jacob also plans on promoting diversity through ally training, lobbying for education funding and improving enrollment.

To prepare for the elections, executive candidates spoke to students about what they plan to do for the campus during a 6 p.m. debate on Monday in Faraday Hall, room 143.

“The problem right now [is that we focus on] bad news after bad news,” Jacob said during the debate. “We do have a lot of positives. We have two members of Congress who have come from our university. We do have resources to really excel.”

Alex Forgue, the opposing presidential candidate on the A Better NIU ticket, said he enjoyed his time running during this election.

“We ran a good campaign with a lot of good ideas,” Forgue said. “It has been fun talking to students and organizations.”