The Connection slate made a clean sweep in Tuesday’s ASUNM presidential election, with Sen. Andrea Cook and Sen. Steve Aguilar winning the president and vice-president positions, and the New Mexico Daily Lobo retaining $38,000 in student fees.
Amendment One called for elimination of student fees that go to the Daily Lobo, allocates 3 percent to Conceptions Southwest and Best Student Essays and identifies the Student Government Accounting Office as the main budget office. The item passed a majority vote by 796-765 but did not pass the two-thirds majority needed.
Amendment Two, which pulls runner up candidates from the most previous elections to fill Senate vacancies, passed but still must be approved by University Counsel, Executive Cabinet and Board of Regents.
Aguilar was at his house when he found out the news of his slate’s victory. People were screaming in celebration as he spoke to the Daily Lobo on the phone.
“It’s incredible — unbelievable,” he said. “I can’t wait to start working for everybody.”
Aguilar said he is excited that his whole slate won because it will be able to work together to accomplish its goals.
Aguilar said he is sure that his opponents on The People slate will contest the results since they contested their own victory last semester.
“There were rumors that they going to contest it before any of the results came out,” Aguilar said of today’s election.
Sen. Tim Serna, The People slate presidential candidate, said members of his slate did not wish to comment about the election or the unofficial results.
Aguilar said that, though the candidates from both slates were on edge Tuesday afternoon, things went well.
“Everyone came together, it was really civil and I’m happy about that,” he said.
He said he thinks the two groups will keep a professional relationship.
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Cook said she was happy to see a large turnout of voters.
“I think this is the most votes that ASUNM has seen in years,” she said. “These are the results I really wanted, and I think it shows the voice of the students.”
She said campaigning gave her a chance to educate students about the goals of her slate and ASUNM.
“It’s great to get out there and talk to students,” she said. “So many students don’t even know what ASUNM stands for. It was great to tell them.”
Cook said the first thing she wants to do is get acquainted with the responsibilities of the president. Then she said she wants to work on communication as a whole.
After hours of waiting for a $38,000-phone call, the Daily Lobo staff cheered when Editor in Chief James Barron came through the door with the news that amendment one did not pass.
Grant Nichols, the author of the amendment, could not be reached for comment.
Jena M†rquez, a newly elected senator on The Connection slate, said she was ecstatic when she found out that she won.
“I was beyond happy,” she said. “I felt like I won the presidency of the United States.”
Marquez said campaigning was a team effort and that her slate will continue to work well together. She added that she thinks relations with her opponents will remain positive.
Newly elected senator Travis Clark of The Connection Slate said he was hanging out with his friends and fellow slate members in celebration. He said it was a challenge trying to get students to vote, and that he is looking forward to increasing the lines of communication with them.
Candidates stood outside for hours Tuesday afternoon — passing out colored flyers filled with the names and goals of each slate.
Jennifer Onuska, a Senate candidate on the Connection slate, applied sun block to a sunburn she got from spending time outside speaking with students.
Sen. Tim Serna, presidential candidate on the People slate, and Celestina Torres, Senate candidate on the same ticket, mingled with students that walked across Smith Plaza on their way to class.
Sen. Gerald Pacheco, The Connection slate’s campaign manager, stood outside of Zimmerman Library inches away from a piece of tape that marked the mandatory 25 ft. distance that candidates must keep from polling locations. Pacheco passed out Jolly Ranchers, Tootsie Rolls, taffy and other kinds of candy to get students to vote for candidates on The Connection slate.
Alyssa Carton, a business major, said she was not impressed by smiles and handouts.
“Don’t just hand me a flyer and give me some candy,” she said.
Carton said she did not follow election news but decided to vote after speaking with an old roommate and candidate who informed her about the issues. She said students should be informed before they vote, and that she appreciates the candidates who take the time to educate.
“Those are the type of people who need to win,” she said.
Seth Masley, a psychology major, said about three or four candidates approached him while he was trying to read a book.
“To be quite honest, I voted so nobody would talk to me anymore,” he said.
Masley said he probably would not have voted if he the candidates did not approach him, even though he thinks voting is important.
“If you’re going here for four years, you should be somewhat involved in the decisions that go along with your schooling,” he said.
Masley said he doesn’t really care about this election because he is graduating in May.
“All of the chalk all over the University is just awful,” he said. “I wish it would rain and wash it all away.”