Students elect Bill Ross as USS executive director

Jessica Rothschuh

Nicole Adante congratulates Megan Sedello on her election to the university affairs position of Undergraduate Student Senate.

Credit: Andrew popik

Nervous and excited candidates waited in front of the Undergraduate Student Senate office yesterday, anticipating the election results.

All eyes were locked on the plasma screen TV, where the winners’ names appeared, one by one. The results were punctuated with yelling, handshakes, fists of triumph and sighs of defeat.

Bill Ross is the new executive director. Megan Sedello won the hotly contested university affairs position, and John McConnell defeated Dennis McCann for the governmental affairs seat.

“I’m pumped for the next year,” Ross said. “I’m ready to take over. It’s going to be a good year.”

When Sedello’s name appeared on the TV, a swarm of arms engulfed her in congratulatory hugs.

“I was nervous, ultra nervous,” Sedello said. “I’m speechless right now.”

After the results, the incoming and outgoing senators hung around the USS office, congratulating one another and talking about next year.

Ross joked with Gary Broadbent about moving his stuff out of the executive director’s office.

Though Ross ran unopposed, there was a vigorous campaign to write in “Pedro Sanchez” for the position. Pedro got 35 of the 849 total votes cast for executive director, 9.6 percent of which were write-ins.

“Pedro did pull a surprising number of votes,” Broadbent said.

Besides Pedro, Eddie Weinertuck, Dr. Cliff Huxtable and Mickey Mouse also received votes, as did previous executive directors Broadbent and Sam Harper.

Five of the nine positions were uncontested this semester.

The position of senator for student advancement was uncontested after Bryan Guffey withdrew from the race, but he received almost half of the votes cast for the position. He lost the race to Preston Mitchum by 23 votes.

“I hope in future years, people will be more interested in senate,” Sen. Amber Samuelson said.

Student participation overall was down from last year, with 1,183 students voting in this election compared to 2,122 in the 2004 election.

Samuelson said she is sad to be leaving senate after serving for two years.

“I’m that tall girl that’s been on senate,” she said, “but I guess you need to look forward to the future and remember the past.”

Some of the candidates were not present at the USS office to hear the results.

“They don’t like the pressure and the spotlight of being in front of the senate office,” Broadbent said.

Unlike previous elections, there were no malfunctions in the voting process this election.

“We’re very happy with that, and hopefully, that trend will continue,” Broadbent said.

The senate will have a one-month transition period for the outgoing senators to show the new senators the ropes, Broadbent said. He is looking forward to working with Ross.

“I trust that he will be an apt pupil,” Broadbent said.

Contact student politics reporter Jessica Rothschuh at [email protected].