Patrick Kelly wins SG president election, Fossil Free AU referendum passes
Patrick Kelly was elected the new Student Government president on April 3.
Kelly, a Class of 2015 senator, won 49.6 percent of the 1,827 votes cast in the presidential election.
"The amount of support that people have given to me is just incredible," he said.
He plans to start a roundtable discussion in the fall as a way to gain input from student groups and plans to prioritize financial aid appeals process reform.
Kelly is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, which served as his "behind-the-scenes motivation" during the campaign, Kelly said. To celebrate his win, he said he would order pizza and "crank out some homework."
Runner-up David Shadburn received 27.5 percent of the vote.
"Congratulations to everyone," Shadburn said. "It was a really fun race."
Shadburn believes that his campaign goals of transparency, financial literacy and socially responsible investing should still receive attention next year.
Voter turnout appears to be the highest it has been in the past eight years, according to Board of Elections Chairman Douglas Bell. SG had expected around 1,800 students to vote in the spring elections and was pleased with the 2,000 student turnout, according to Senate Speaker Alex Iannacio.
"I think everyone in this race made people excited about SG again," Kelly said.
Julia Reinstein wins VP spot
Julia Reinstein won 73.5 percent of the 1,482 votes cast for vice president.
"This is amazing," Reinstein said. "It's unreal . . . There are no words to describe this."
Sleep, laundry and a call to mom are on Reinstein's immediate agenda, she said.
"I'm going to sleep for a really long time," Reinstein said. "I'm going to hug a lot of friends."
Outsider Ben Johnson unseats current comptroller
Ben Johnson beat incumbent Comptroller Joe Ste.Marie by 37 votes, 698-661, and is the only member-elect not currently serving on the SG Executive Board. Johnson won 48.9 percent of the 1,427 total votes.
"They all seem like nice and approachable people to me, just got to hash out our differences," Johnson said. "[SG has] the general interests of the student body at heart."
Johnson was nearly removed from the ballot on March 30 when Ste.Marie appealed the legality of Johnson's candidacy to the Judicial Board. The board ruled in Johnson's favor.
"[I feel] accomplished . . . grateful for my friends for supporting me and grateful to be bringing a fresh breeze to SG," Johnson said.
Ste.Marie said he was disappointed about the outcome but felt that SG had placed a high priority on advocacy in recent months.
"Students have set high standards for transparency and accountability in SG," Ste.Marie said. "I hope the new comptroller can meet those standards."
Cipriano to take over as secretary
Rosemary Cipriano won 89.4 percent of the 1,291 votes cast for secretary. Cipriano ran unopposed, but she admitted that the election was still a nerve-racking experience.
"I'm elated," she said following the announcement.
She plans to use focus groups during the 2013-2014 academic year to increase transparency between SG and the student body.
Fossil fuel referendum passes by sweeping majority
Following a semester long campaign from "Fossil Free AU," the "Referendum on a Fossil Free American University" that asks the University to divest from stocks in fossil fuels, passed by 79.1 percent.
Staff writers Amber Cohen, Devin Mitchell, Heather Mongilio, Rachel Karas and Samantha Hogan contributed to this report.