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Shappell-Andrichik secure majority

Mary Kate Malone | Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Juniors Lizzi Shappell and Bill Andrichik ran away with the victory in the student government president and vice president election Monday, winning 51.78 percent of the vote and narrowly escaping a run-off – the first time a ticket has done so since 1999.

The pair will take on its new posts April 1. Shappell will replace current student body president Dave Baron, and Andrichik will replace Shappell, the current vice president.

Typically no ticket wins the majority vote in the general, and that results in a run-off election between the two with the highest number of votes. But this year was different, as Shappell and Andrichik managed to clinch the majority and avoid a week of historically dogged campaigning leading up to the run-off.

“I was definitely surprised [that we didn’t need to have a run-off],” Judicial Council president James Leito said. “We had a lot of good candidates mixed up between classes.”

Shappell and Andrichik won 2,202 votes, while junior Jason Laws and sophomore Bob

Costa came in second with 1,458 votes, or 34.28 percent of the vote. Freshmen Ryan McCune and Tim Szewczyk were a distant third, winning 3.62 percent of the votes.

One hundred seventy-one students abstained, and freshmen Ryan Black and Catherine Martinez and sophomore Erica Wells and freshman George Chamberlain split the remaining votes.

A record-breaking 4,253 votes were cast – the highest in the general election in at least four years, constituting about 51 percent of the student body.

Leito said the election process was smooth, despite an early morning delay in sending out an election e-mail to all students providing a hyperlink for casting their vote.

“We sent our letter [to the Office of the Registrar] over the weekend, but for whatever reason they didn’t send it out,” Leito said.

Leito called the Registrar at 11:30 a.m. Leito said the e-mail was sent five minutes later.

The Shappell-Andrichik ticket won the majority vote in every class and received the greatest number of votes from the class of 2008. They also dominated in every residence hall except Cavanaugh, Fisher and Howard.

Shappell was all smiles after Leito announced the election results in the LaFortune Club Resource room Monday night.

“I’m excited and surprised,” Shappell said. “It was unlikely that we could win it in the first round since there were five tickets. A lot of good ideas came up as far as the other campaigns, so it’s surprising.”

Since both Shappell and Andrichik each already hold positions in student government – Andrichik is junior class president – Andrichik said he is confident the transition into the presidency and vice presidency will be “pretty smooth.” He said they both plan to continue tackling community relations – a pillar of their campaign platform – in the coming weeks.

“We were confident about making the run-off,” Shappell said. “But now it’s [time to] take a deep breath and get started.”

Though they originally had planned to have a strategy meeting for what they thought would be a whirlwind week of campaigning and debating for a run-off election, Shappell and Andrichik instead celebrated a victory last night in the student government office.

The last time a ticket for student body president and vice president won the majority in the general election was in 1999, when juniors Micah Murphy and Michael Palumbo won with 54.67 percent of the vote against nine other tickets.