‘Student Leader’ ticket sweeps USS elections

Breanne George

Junior communications major Ross Miltner, Undergraduate Student Senate executive director-elect, celebrates yesterday afternoon in the Student Center with other newly elected senators. MICHELE ROEHRIG | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn


Executive Director:

Ross Miltner

Academic Affairs:

Preston Mitchum

Business and Finance:

Sean Groves

Community Affairs:

Justin Jeffery

Governmental Affairs:

Amy Groya

Research and Development:

Kourtney Wolfgang

Student Advancement:

Benjamin Feld

Student Relations:

Christen Coppola

University Affairs:

Megan Sedello

Candidates on the “Experienced Student Leader” ticket captured all nine positions in yesterday’s Undergraduate Student Senate election.

Ross Miltner, junior communications studies major, won the executive director seat with 808 votes, beating his opponent, junior nursing major Christopher Taylor, who received 682 votes.

Miltner, who ran unopposed for community affairs senator last year, said he is excited for the upcoming year.

“This year was completely different,” he said. “My opponent put up one hell of a fight.”

Students were able to vote through Web for Students from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and according to information on USS’s Web site, voting increased this year compared to last year. The total number of students who voted was 1,826, compared to 1,183 students who voted last year.

Voting results will not be official until tomorrow after being certified by the USS Elections Commission.

Sean Groves won the hotly contested business and finance senator position with 985 votes, beating opponent Nathan Williams’ 481 votes. The business and finance position was a point of heated debate over the issue of permanent seats on the Allocations Committee. Groves, junior finance major, wants to remove permanent seats. His opponent wanted to add more permanent seats.

“It has been a long and stressful campaign,” Groves said. “People feel strongly on both sides of the issue.”

Groves said he believes the votes reflect students’ beliefs on the issue of permanent seats. The issue is already being discussed in the senate’s Ad Hoc meetings and the Allocations Committee, so Groves said permanent seats might be removed prior to his inauguration.

Currently, the All Campus Programming Board, Intercollegiate Greek Programming Board, Black United Students and USS have permanent seats.

“People saw what I was advocating.” he said. “I definitely look forward to getting started and pushing for the removal of seats.”

Junior marketing major Christen Coppola beat Brian Apel and Donovan Hill for student relations senator. Coppola said she believes the collaboration of student leaders on her ticket will benefit the USS next year.

“We really got to know each other and become friends,” she said. “We had over a month to collaborate ideas.”

Megan Sedello, the incumbent university affairs senator and junior psychology and speech pathology major, reclaimed her seat. She said she can finally breathe a sigh of relief after three weeks of campaigning.

“I’m happy to have the opportunity to serve next year,” she said. “I don’t have to go through the transition, I can just continue to carry on my work.”

Preston Mitchum, sophomore political science major, beat Caitlin Faas for the position of academic affairs senator by 519 votes.

“I really wanted this position so bad,” he said. “Academics is the reason we go to college.”

Candidates crowded around the Plasma Screen in front of the USS office in the Student Center anxiously awaiting the results. The crowd went silent before the winner’s names were announced. Upon seeing the winner’s names, the silence turned to excitement as candidates embraced their friends and fellow candidates in congratulations. Many candidates called their parents and friends from cell phones to tell them the news.

Marketing major Benjamin Feld won the position of student advancement senator. None of the candidates for student advancement attended the debates, which Feld said was disappointing.

“I feel relieved, but I was confident with my platform,” he said. “I look forward to working with the other senators on the Experienced Leaders ticket.”

Justin Jeffery, junior political science major, won a close race for community affairs senator. Only 20 votes separated Jeffery from his opponent Bethany Taylor.

Jeffery said his opponent, who was in England until last week, began campaigning as soon as she stepped off the plane.

“She really kicked it into gear at the last minute,” he said.

Jeffery, who ran for city council last fall, said he believes the community affairs position will be more exciting.

“I look forward to working with students and representing them well,” he said.

Kourtney Wolfgang won the position of research and development senator, and Amy Groya won the unopposed governmental affairs senator position.

Senator inauguration will take place on April 6 at the Student Leadership and Honor Award Celebration Banquet.

Contact student politics reporter Breanne George at [email protected]