Kent State elects new USG officers

Robert Lierenz stands on a chair to see above the crowd who watch the results of the Undergraduate Student Government election in the student center on Tuesday, Mar. 4, 2014. Lierenz won Director of Governmental affairs by 17 votes.

Blair Donald

At 6:27 p.m. in the Student Center, the candidates in this year’s Undergraduate Student Government and a handful of their friends gathered near the student organization offices to watch today’s election results come up on the television in front of the USG offices at 6:30 p.m.

The anticipation built as the team counting the votes hooked up their system to display the results. After a tense six minutes of technical difficulties, the results were displayed.

Election Results (winners in bold):

Executive Director: Marvin Logan, 1139 votes

Director of Communications: Tia Loop, 629 and Lauren Buchanan 627

Director of Governmental Affairs: Robert Lierenz, 603 and Kayla Morrison, 586

Director of Programming: Kevin Otubu, 733 and Hunter Amrhein-Barnes, 564 and Matthew Bogard, 74

Director of Community Affairs: Hanna Ward, 1104

Director of Academic Affairs: Michelle Crisler, 1170

Director of Business and Finance: Brian Cannon, 483 and Dominique Cook, 384 and Kelsey Meadows, 396

Director of Student Advancement: Katherine Cookson, 839 and Eric Dyne, 306

Director of Student Involvement: Write-in candidates Tyler Bayer, 111 and Joshua Lewis, 51

Senator for College of Communications and Information: Matthew Gilkerson, 218

Senator for Honors College: Shervon Preston, 158

Senator for College of Arts and Sciences: Thomas Joseph, 121 and Kara Jenkins, 144

Senator for College of Nursing: Susan Carter, 28 and Keaira Brandon, 11 and Luke Sutton, 56

Senator for College of Education, Health and Human Services: Angela Cecys, 137 and Fetini Dimopoulos, 13

Senator for College of Public Health: Astgik Ambartsumian, 17 and Tyler Westerman, 14

Senator for College of the Arts: Kelly Wise, 25 and Riley Stewart, 18

Senator for College of Technology: Michael DeFord, 26

Senator for College of Architecture and Environmental Design: Katelyn Walker, 12

Senator for College of Business: Alberto Lopez, 38 and Zachary Fortunato, 23

Marvin Logan will be the next executive director of USG, and although that position was uncontested, he said that he was still nervous about the results.

“I’m only as good as the worst member of the USG,” he said. “I wanted the right body of individuals, the right people for the job.”

Not all voted for every position, but 1,256 students voted in this year’s USG elections, according to the voter results. That is 5.7 percent of this year’s total Kent State undergraduate student body. The number is even lower than last year’s voter turnout, which was 1,462, and follows a trend of decreasing USG voter turnout over the past several years.

The most votes came from the College of Arts and Sciences, where the candidates running for senator received a total of 265 votes.

One of the closest races was between Lauren Buchanan and Tia Loop, contenders for the USG director of communications. Loop won by two votes.

“We both knew it was going to be close,” Loop said. “I’m proud of Lauren. I think she did a great job in the race and will go on to do great things at Kent.”

 “We are both talented student leaders, so I knew whoever won will rock it out,” Buchanan said.

Another close race was between Robert Lierenz and Kayla Morrison. Lierenz won with 603 votes to Morrison’s 586 votes.

“I’m gonna find those 17 people and put them on a Christmas list,” Lierenz said.

Lierenz said that he has many plans for his time as director.

“I want to try to get all the candidates from the 2014 elections here and make sure that everybody comes here to address the students,” he said. “Just generally increase political literacy around here to try and make policies something that students can actually access. I want to distill it so students see it as something that actually pertains to their lives. There’s a lot to do, and I can’t wait to do it.”

Joseph Bizjak, the USG’s current director of governmental affairs, said that he was impressed with all the candidates who ran this year.

“It was a very clean race,” he said. “I was really happy with the way that everybody conducted themselves, and I really could not be more impressed.”

Logan said that he plans to run the USG differently than his predecessor, Amish Patel, but he kept his plans vague.

“Sam Cook once said that change is gonna come, and for USG a change has come,” he said.

Contact Blair Donald at [email protected].