Sasha Gilthorpe wins SG presidency; Valderruten, Fitzpatrick and Stone also win executive board positions

Sasha Gilthorpe wins SG presidency; Valderruten, Fitzpatrick and Stone also win executive board positions

Updated with full vote totals at 3:15 p.m., April 2. 

Sasha Gilthorpe won the Student Government presidency by a landslide, winning 62.7 percent of votes. Gilthorpe's election marks the third time AU has elected a female SG president in four years. 

Previous female presidents included Sarah McBride in the 2011 to 2012 year, Emily Yu in the 2012 to 2013 year and outgoing President Sophia Wirth. Overall, Gilthorpe won 1217 votes.

Gilthorpe is joined by Jack Fitzpatrick as vice president, Martin Valderruten as secretary and Jake Stone as comptroller. A referendum to ask for more student space on the third floor of the Mary Graydon Center was also passed, winning 96.7 percent of the vote.

Gilthorpe’s hands and voice were shaking as she spoke to the Eagle.

“I’m very excited, very excited. Those are the only words I have right now,” she said. “I had no idea what was going to happen when I came in, I had absolutely no idea.”

A total of 2,080 students voted in this election cycle, which is a high turnout of voters for SG elections, according to Stephie Maravankin, the SG elections commissioner. 

Campaigns included a myriad of multimedia aspects, including Facebook and Twitter posts, videos and photos.

“[The other candidates] fought really, really hard, and we were running scared the whole time,” Gilthorpe said.

Bryan Paz, who came in second place in the presidential race with 18.3 percent and 356 votes, committed to his campaign amid accusations of unwanted sexual advances.

“We fought until the very end, and we fought really hard to make sure we moved AU in a better direction,” Paz said. “We tried our best at the end and that’s all I can say.”

Paz also congratulated Gilthorpe and said he has confidence in her to succeed as she begins her new role as SG president on May 1.

For Martin Slezak, who came in third in the presidential race with 11.4 percent and 220 votes, the campaign process served as a learning experience.

“I’m very happy I ran a very clean-cut campaign,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot about the issues on this campus, and I look forward to learning more about them in the years to come.”

Jack Fitzpatrick wins vice president

Fitzpatrick, the incoming vice president, also said he was excited. Fitzpatrick received 62.4 percent of votes.

“I want to bring great programming and to engage the student population through programming,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick’s only competition in the race, Logan Billman, could not be reached for comment in time for publication. Billman received 33.6 percent.

Jake Stone wins comptroller

Newly elected comptroller Jake Stone said he was appreciative of the team that helped run his campaign.

“I had an awesome team that helped make this happen and I’m really looking forward to it,” Stone said.

Stone received 46.9 percent of the vote. Kevin Michael Levy came in second with 27.8 percent, and Lars Emerson received 20.6 percent.

Levy said he felt that the elections were held fairly and wished Stone the best of luck.

“I look forward to seeing how he navigates working with AU Club Council, AU Student Media Board and SG, because these are three major constituencies that have very different demands and very different needs,” Levy said. “It will take a very strong person to work with these people and their governing boards.”

Emerson, who came in third for comptroller said he hopes that the new executive board members uphold the promises they made during campaigning.

“I don’t know, it was disappointing I guess [to lose], but I think the night went pretty well for most people,” Emerson said.

Martin Valderruten wins secretary

Although newly elected Secretary Martin Valderruten ran unopposed in the election, it was important to him to work hard in his campaign. He received 89 percent of the vote. 

“I wanted people to make sure that they knew why I was doing this, the experience I could bring to the table and what my vision was to change student government,” Valderruten said.

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