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Ricketts-Ruelas to serve as president, VP

| Thursday, February 5, 2015

Ricketts Ruelas, Michael YuMichael Yu | The Observer

Campaign season for student body president and vice president ended Wednesday night as Judicial Council announced that juniors Bryan Ricketts and Nidia Ruelas had defeated sophomores Neil Joseph and Noemi Ventilla by 351 votes.

According to Judicial Council, Ricketts and Ruelas garnered 1,908 votes, which came out to approximately 51 percent. Joseph and Ventilla received 1,557 votes or 41.62 percent of the vote, while 276 or 7.38 percent of voters abstained, up from 5.1 percent who abstained in the 2014 election.

Overall, 3,741 students voted in the election, with a voter participation rate of 45 percent, consistent with the results of last year’s election.

Michael Masi, class of 2014, former president of Judicial Council, said in an interview last year that a ticket must have a minimum of 50 percent of the vote to prevent the election from going to a runoff.

Last year, neither the Vidal-Devine ticket nor the LaMagna-Andresen ticket received a majority, and so another election was held five days later. Despite earning more votes than the Joseph-Ventilla ticket, had Ricketts and Ruelas failed to meet the requirement of a 50 percent majority, this year’s election would have proceeded to a runoff.

Reflecting on the week, Ruelas, the vice-president elect, said she had most enjoyed speaking to potential constituents and friends who had helped on the campaign.

“I’m just incredibly humbled by this whole experience,” Ruelas said. “I’ve met some of the most incredible people on campus throughout this whole time, and it’s reinforced some of the best friendships I’ve made in my entire life. Thank you to everyone who came out. Every single vote counted, and it was — there’s no words.”

Ricketts, who will serve as president, described his and Ruelas’s campaign as a group effort. Like Ruelas, he also described meeting with students as a high point of the campaign experience.

“We definitely want to thank our friends and supporters who worked so hard for this, it definitely wouldn’t have happened without them,” Ricketts said. “It’s been great, over the past week, meeting with so many people on campus and already getting to start sharing their vision. We’ve had so many good conversations about the items on our platform and about things that aren’t even on there.”

When asked, Joseph said he and Ventilla, Sophomore Class Council treasurer and president, respectively, would not pursue offices in the Junior Class Council for the upcoming school year, but he said they hope to find ways to implement the ideas from their platform in other ways.

“We’re still really passionate about our ideas and the things we set out to do, and we think these things will be beneficial for all students,” Joseph said. “We’re not thinking about next year or anything like that, but we really want to get these things done. We’re going to try — we don’t know how at this point — right now we’re just processing things and looking forward.”

Moving forward, Ricketts said in the next few weeks he and Ruelas will focus on putting together a staff and cabinet.

“That is definitely the priority,” he said. “Finding people who are just as passionate as we are will be crucial to making sure we can be effective next year.”

Ricketts and Ruelas officially take office April 1.

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About Margaret Hynds

Margaret is a senior Political Science major and the former Editor-in-Chief of The Observer. She hails from Washington, D.C., and is a former Phox of Pangborn Hall. Follow Margaret on Twitter @MargaretHynds

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