Hale wins, I.O.U. ticket sweeps

Jackie Valley

Katie Hale celebrates her victory over Preston Mitchum for the executive director of USS with Andrew Ljubi. Ljubi also won the business and finance senator seat for USS. DANIEL OWEN | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: John Proppe

Katie Hale beat Senator for Academic Affairs Preston Mitchum for executive director of the Undergraduate Student Senate in a sweeping victory for the I.O.U. – Improving Our University – ticket.

“How we worked together on the campaign reflects on how we will work together in USS,” Hale said.

In addition, the referendum concerning the USS charter changes passed by a margin of 67 votes.

The election drew 2,328 student votes compared to 1,826 last year, an increase of 502 votes.

But only 1,203 students voted on the referendum – 1,125 students less than the total number of students who voted in the election.

The charter changes will expand the current USS to include nine director positions similar to the current senator roles and 16 additional senator positions to represent academic colleges, diversity and student living situations in the new Undergraduate Student Government.

The charter changes also include the reorganization of the All Campus Programming Board to fall under the umbrella of the USG as the Programming Board, led by the elected director of programming.

If approved by the Board of Trustees, the charter changes will take effect in the 2008-2009 academic year.

Though the I.O.U. ticket swept, Jonithon LaCross will take the position of university affairs senator due to Nikole Keslar’s withdrawal from the race.

“Because she (Keslar) filed an official letter on her own volition withdrawing from the election, she will not be senator,” said Matt White, elections coordinator of the USS Elections Commission. “It’s unfortunate that she got more votes.”

White said the commission must certify the results by Friday.

Hale beat Mitchum by 179 votes – the smallest margin in the election except for the senator for university affairs race, in which withdrawn candidate Keslar won by a margin of 24 votes.

Hale said she is “grateful for the chance to work for Kent State students,” but she said opponent Mitchum “put up a good fight.”


“All candidates – win or lose – should be admired by the Kent State students,” she said.

Mitchum said he is irate about the election results because he said he thinks he deserved the executive director position.

“It’s not about being a sore loser, but I think there were a lot of misinformed voters,” Mitchum said.

He said he thinks the need to form a campaign ticket illustrates his point.

“I think it’s sad for someone to have that little competence where you think you have to construct a group of people to win for your personal benefit,” he said.

Senator for student relations candidate Elizabeth Eckels won by the largest margin, 688 votes.

Elected senator for governmental affairs candidate John Wetmore said the voting statistics speak to the strength of the I.O.U. ticket.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It just shows the hard work we put in because the entire ticket swept. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Current Executive Director Ross Miltner said he was pleased by the results of the referendum.

“I knew it was going to be close,” he said. “Ultimately, the voice of the students speaks.”

Miltner said he does not envy the task assigned to the new USS of revamping USS by-laws to accommodate for the new USG.

“Putting all the gears together to make sure everything works will be a long process,” he said.

Still, Christopher Taylor, vice president of ACPB, said he disagrees with referendum’s passage.

“Whoever voted for the referendum probably didn’t read it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sasha Parker, president of Black United Students, and Shanelle Smith, president of KSU-NAACP, said they were disappointed with Katie Hale’s victory for the executive director position.

“I hope that Katie Hale and her I.O.U. ticket are ready to deal with BUS and KSU-NAACP,” Parker said. “Her way of business is to ignore things.”

However, Hale said she ran on a campaign platform to erase the conflicting power struggle between student organizations and USS and bring power back to the students.

“Unfortunately, some people are going to hold grudges and have personal feelings that they harbor against myself and the I.O.U. ticket,” she said. “I hope they are going to put personal feelings aside because I plan to work with them to work for the students.”

Contact student politics reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].