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Kindt wins SMC class election

Kelly Meehan | Monday, March 6, 2006

The Saint Mary’s class of 2007 executive board election, marked by intense campaigns and a rare runoff vote, came to an end Friday in similar dramatic fashion.

President-elect Kat Kindt and her ticket of vice-president-elect Meghan Mackinnon, secretary-elect Erica Antonucci and treasurer-elect Laura Baumgartner won by a mere seven votes.

Neither Kindt nor the opposing Heidi Goeppinger had secured the 51 percent majority required for victory during the Feb. 27 primary election. Goeepinger’s ticket received 50.23 percent of the votes, while Kindt’s ticket received 46.12 percent. As a result, both tickets were permitted to re-campaign Tuesday for Wednesday’s run-off election.

Goeppinger, who currently serves as junior class president, said campaigning for the runoff election was difficult since it coincided with the class’ pride week.

“My primary responsibility was to our junior board and to our class, to make sure the events during the week were successful,” she said. “Also, due to the fact the other ticket was on board, it was difficult for me to campaign against them and work with them at the same time.”

Kindt clinched the presidency when her ticket received 113 votes compared to Goeppinger’s 106 votes during the runoff election. Goeppinger’s ticket – comprised of vice-presidential candidate Christin Molnar, secretarial candidate Bridget Gorman and treasurer candidate Maggie Wickstrom – had received 109 votes, but three votes were deducted by the elections committee due to a violation of the College’s “active campaigning” clause.

“One of my ticket mates fell asleep with her away message up reminding women to vote for our ticket starting at midnight,” Goeppinger said. “We contested it due to the fact that [the message] was not sent to anyone and it was an honest mistake made in exhaustion.”

They attempted to repeal the decision, but it was not appealed since the away message was printed off and turned in as evidence of the violation, Goeppinger said.

Kindt said her ticket also was found in violation for sending instant messages after midnight, but they were able to appeal this decision since the messages were actually sent before midnight and not viewed by the receiver until after the deadline.

All members of both Kindt’s and Goeppinger’s tickets are current members of the junior class board, and election results may generate issues that strengthen and divide class unity.

Kindt said she plans to address these issues at an open discussion forum in April where students can address their concerns.

“I feel that our class may be split in some aspects, but overall that this will pass,” she said. “Both candidate groups had great representation for leadership and ability.”

Goeppinger said she along with her ticket mates are looking into ways to help the class and the College community during their senior year.

“The women on my ticket are amazing and strong leaders and I am very proud of them for their integrity and class,” she said. “We are disappointed, but will be holding our heads high on knowing we won the first election and we will continue to work this year to provide our classmates with a fantastic [year].”

Kindt’s ticket said they look forward to planning Senior Dad’s weekend, an ovarian cancer walk and the senior class formal.

Mackinnon, the vice-president elect, said she wants to hear what her classmates want the class board do during their final year at the College.

“Next year is all about them, and we want to hear exactly what activities and events they want to make it and excellent senior year at Saint Mary’s,” she said.