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Juniors win SMC election

Liz Harter | Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Juniors Mickey Gruscinski and Sarah Falvey were elected the next Saint Mary’s student body president and vice president Monday after running an unopposed campaign.

The pair received more than 50 percent of the vote, according to an e-mail the Board of Governance sent to the student body Tuesday. The e-mail did not specify how many students voted, or what percentage of students voted abstain.

“We decided to run because it seemed like a great way to get involved on campus and meet students,” Falvey said. “Though we took our campaign seriously, we had a lot of fun with it.”

The pair campaigned extensively last week, even though they ran unopposed. Gruscinski and Falvey visited all of the residence halls, knocking on doors, posting flyers in restrooms and hallways and asking their fellow students to vote on Saint Mary’s PRISM Web site Monday.

“Even though there is only one ticket, they are working just as hard as if there were five tickets,” executive director of elections Maggie Siefert said last Thursday.

Gruscinski said she thought the pair’s efforts “really helped voter turnout.”

The BOG also tried to increase voter turnout by setting up a booth-like station in the Student Center where students could cast their votes.

Placing the booth in the atrium, Siefert said, helped “to recruit more voters and to create a better awareness of the politics of the Saint Mary’s student government.”

Siefert, who was stationed at the booth, said she had seen a “very good” turnout.

Falvey said she was happy with the number of students that participated in the elections this year.

If a majority of students abstained, it would have been a first in school history – and Gruscinski and Falvey would have not been able to take office next year.

Siefert said she was unsure how that situation would have been handled since there is no precedent for such a scenario.

But those questions didn’t bother Gruscinski and Falvey. Instead, they focused on the coming year.

“It’s surreal right now, since I’m just getting used to the feeling, but it is a very good feeling,” Gruscinski said.

Falvey agreed, saying she’s “a bit in shock” and eager to start working on the goals that made up their platform during the campaign.

Those ideas include extending the Student Center hours of operation and improving the wireless Internet connection.

“I think I’d like to work on getting wireless Internet in all the dorms. It’s probably going to take a lot of work, so the sooner we can get started the better,” Falvey said. “We also have some ideas under wraps that we want to get the ball rolling on.”