A close election and unclear votes in Wednesday’s Student Activities Commission chair election led the group to hold a revote Thursday.
Each of SAC’s 109 affiliated student groups receives one vote in the chair election. According to Georgetown University Student Association Election Commissioner Ethan Chess (COL ’14), who was designated SAC election commissioner for the election, problems included some SAC groups submitting more than one vote for commissioner and ambiguous voting caused by a lack of clarity about which group member was responsible for the organization’s vote. According to Chess, these problems were not present in previous SAC elections.
This was SAC’s second contested election in the four years since it restructured to introduce a campus-wide election system.
“When we collected the votes, we were at times unable to verify who was being voted for, and some clubs inadvertently voted more than their one allotted time,” Chess said. “We have made modifications to the online ballot on HoyaLink, and voting this time around has gone smoothly.”
Voting in the second round ended at 2 a.m. Friday. The results were not available at press time.
The two candidates, one-semester SAC commissioner and Marketing and Public Relations Director Patrick Musgrave (COL ’16) and two-semester SAC commissioner and New Club Development Coordinator Eng Gin Moe (SFS ’16), were separated by a margin of two votes in the initial round.
“We wanted the election to be fair and true in the utmost, which is why we have the recount. We wanted to minimize confusion,” outgoing SAC Chair Jennifer Chiang (SFS ’15) said. “We’ve received great voter turnout from student group leadership, which is great because it shows that they really care.”
Musgrave weighed in on the revote situation and reflected on the campaign as a whole.
“I have complete faith in the election commission and trust that they have resolved the issues that we saw with voting last night,” Musgrave said. “I am happy with my campaign. I would like to thank my supporters, and I commend Eng Gin on a well-fought campaign. I will eagerly await the results, and, win or lose, I intend to keep doing my very best to serve the student organizations of Georgetown.”
For Moe, the close election results revealed a student body heavily invested in the campaign.
“I think both Patrick and I are very competent SAC commissioners and have worked hard to run effective campaigns. The fact that this race was so close speaks to the importance of its outcome to student group life,” said Moe. “While there were issues with the first round of voting, I am confident that the new balloting system will ensure that the voices of all student groups are heard.”
As of 10 p.m. Thursday, nearly 70 percent of clubs had cast votes. Chess hoped that 80 percent of club presidents would eventually vote.
Moe’s platform emphasized communication. Under her leadership, the SAC commissioner would be required to attend one event per club each semester. Musgrave hoped to focus on simplifying the often daunting process required for SAC groups to officially sponsor and reserve public campus spaces for events.