Last week the Student Association announced the winners of its annual senate elections, which took place Wednesday, Sept. 26 and Friday, Sept. 28. Low voter turnout - less than 350 students cast ballots - suggests the elections escaped most students' notice.
Keith Mansfield, Michael Goggin and Sarah Larson, all from "The Rock" party, nailed three out of the four contested on-campus senate seats. Independent candidate Gregory Haynes, a sophomore political science major, secured the fourth seat.
The remaining eight seats, which represent off-campus and commuter students, were filled either by a single contestant or a returning senator.
SA senators are responsible for allocating the organization's budget, reviewing the operations of all clubs recognized or funded by SA and approving certain presidential appointments, such as to the Sub-Board I Board of Directors.
According to SA Vice President Joshua Korman, this year's installment of senators is "enthusiastic" and will contribute greatly to improving the organization's effectiveness at UB.
"For the past two years, the senate has not really been competitive," said Korman. "This year, we had a lot of participation and they brought a great response."
In total, 335 students voted in the elections, which consisted of four parties and two independent candidates. Mansfield came out on top with 230 votes, followed by Goggin with 196 votes, Larson with 178 votes and Gregory Haynes with 117 votes.
Mansfield attributed his party's sweep to the fact that all three were involved in student clubs and had experience working with SA last year.
"We knew a lot of people in the clubs; I think we represent the students of UB," said Mansfield.
The "Students Rights" party trailed in distant second, with Brett Climan obtaining 82 votes, followed by Benjamen Bialek with 67 votes and Ari Eisner with 58 votes.
Haynes described the senate race as "competitive" but not at all "cut-throat." He said that all of candidates were "very polite" toward one another.
"It was a pleasure running against them," said Haynes. "They were very professional and very classy people throughout the election."
His first issue to tackle as an SA senator will be the amendments to the SA Constitution recently proposed by the organization's executive committee.