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Incumbent Sen. Bisaan Hanouneh (purple) reacts to the announcement that she received the most votes as ASUNM senate election returns are revealed Wednesday evening at the SUB. More than 1,700 students selected 10 senators to hold office for the next two semesters.

Incumbent Sen. Bisaan Hanouneh (purple) reacts to the announcement that she received the most votes as ASUNM senate election returns are revealed Wednesday evening at the SUB. More than 1,700 students selected 10 senators to hold office for the next two semesters.

Students elect diverse senators to ASUNM

A mix of experience and aspirations for the undergraduate student body will be represented on the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico Senate for the next year, after election results were compiled Wednesday evening.

Current ASUNM President Pro Tempore Bisaan Hanouneh garnered the most votes, with 531 out of 1,746 voters checking her off on their ballots. Voters are able to vote for 10 senators, and the top 10 candidates to receive votes won seats on the senate

“With all this knowledge, and with everything that I’ve done in the past, everything that’s leading up to where I am now, I can use all that to make sure that everyone does get the best experience possible, that I can outreach to as many students as possible,” Hanouneh said.

She is one of two incumbents to win re-election, along with Jorge Guerrero, who tallied 471 votes.

Unlike last semester, when one slate swept nine senate spots — as well as the positions of president and vice president — voters this time around were more inclined to vote for a blend of candidates.

CREATE had five elected, Wolfpack two, and Let’s Be Real three.

“I’m really looking forward to working with some of the people that I met that weren’t even on our slate,” said Sally Midani of Let’s Be Real. “It was just so much more amazing working as a small group, because we got to experience hearing what other people had to say, and collaborating with them, because that’s what we’re going to be doing in the future.”

Hanouneh said that while it doesn’t seem that way, candidates from different slates supported each other over the course of the elections. She said members of different slates were even buying food over the course of the day and sharing with other candidates, a detail that gets lost when all the cohorts may seem isolated to students.

“Although we run as slates, we still get voted on individually, and we all knew that, and it’s kind of unspoken,” Hanouneh said. “I’m really glad that that happened, and I think that can make a really good balance once we go in.”

Let’s Be Real took an unorthodox route, with three candidates compared to 10 each for Wolfpack and CREATE, and it paid off in large part because of specific goals, according to the slate’s members.

Their platform was based on a variety of action items, including consolidating night classes in Dane Smith, rotating senate meeting locations to different areas around campus and improving school pride by painting objects like trash cans and bike racks cherry and silver.

“We had one person tell us that we were different, not only by the fact that there was just three of us, but by the fact that we really broke down (our platform),” said Let’s Be Real candidate Noah Brooks. “We didn’t just say ‘safety’, we talked about what we would do within safety.”

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The 10 winners also represent a spectrum of ages and years spent at UNM. Among those elected are two freshmen, three juniors, four sophomores and one senior.

Current ASUNM Vice President Alex Cervantes said that the variety – in ages, experience and goals for the Senate – will be beneficial.

“I hope the senators from this election and the returners find ways in which to come together as a team, but also challenge each other in the office daily,” she said.

David Lynch is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter 
@RealDavidLynch.

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