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Thursday, August 11, 2022
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

The Results Are Back

For the second year in a row, the Results Party has overwhelmingly swept all Student Association executive board and New York State Student Assembly positions, defeating the opposing the UB Students' Party by a landslide margin.

A total of 2,001 students participated in the election and tended to vote on strict party lines. The UB Students' were only able to secure fewer than half the votes of the incumbent Results.

SA President Christian Oliver earned the most votes of any candidate - 1,374 - to defeat challenger Jason Litwak, who obtained a mere 502 votes.

"I really thank all of our supporters because there are so many people backing us who really had nothing to gain personally from it," said Oliver. "Without them, we couldn't have done it."

Oliver said he was surprised his party won by the margin it did and that he felt "relief" when he learned of his victory.

"We were very concerned because it was the first campaign any of us had witnessed in which smear tactics were used," said Oliver, referring to fliers and posters distributed by the UB Students that discredited the Results Party. "We had no idea how the students would vote."

Newly elected NYSSA delegate Katie Walsh said she was also surprised by the large spread in the polls because all the candidates "campaigned hard," particularly UB Students' NYSSA candidate Melinda Mulawka.

"[Mulawka] was talking to a lot of people and handing out a lot of stuff," said Walsh.

Litwak said he was disappointed by the large margin by which his party lost, but still believes the UB Students' "alerted students to problems within SA" and provided the winners with a "serious challenge."

"We didn't give them a free ride and they didn't deserve one," said Litwak.

In regard to what Oliver referred to as "smear tactics," Litwak said the Results Party "mistook serious competition for dirty politics."

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SA treasurer, and incumbent Results candidate, Naazli Ahmed believes it was experience with SA combined with her party's "great working relationship" that ultimately secured the election for the Results.

"It's very hard or almost impossible to take over an e-board position like this without knowing anything about the organization and do a good job," said Ahmed.

The newly re-elected president said that now that the elections are over, he has a busy semester to complete, with events such as UB Preview Day, Bill Clinton's speech, Jimmy Fallon's performance, the Milton Plesur Teaching Awards and the SA installation dinner still ahead.

"I'm just glad the elections are over and I can get back to work because, unfortunately, I haven't been able to do that the last three days," said Oliver.

In addition, Ahmed said they must begin hiring staff for next year and planning the student government's budget.

NYSSA Delegate Yesenia Diaz said the most difficult aspect of the election was campaigning from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Student Union for three days "dressed professionally" and "wearing heels."

Newly elected SA vice president Jennifer Brace, Walsh and Diaz are already getting to work on their major campaign promises. Brace said she is in the process of organizing a club orientation for the upcoming year.

"We want to have a more supportive infrastructure for clubs at the beginning of the year," said Brace. "We want to increase the overall involvement and membership if the clubs are more efficiently run and they know what they're doing right off the bat."

Walsh said she would like to improve voter registration drives for next year and will first focus on freshmen in UB 101 courses.

"It would be a good target area to start with since a lot of kids aren't registered yet," said Walsh.

Diaz said she will begin working on making course credits transferable between institutions in the SUNY system and making sure the cultural sensitivity training she has been working toward as chair of NYSSA's diversity board will go through. She also expressed an interest in become part of NYSSA's executive committee.

Anthony Burgio, the only freshman who ran in the election, won one of the three NYSSA positions. Despite being at UB for only one year, Burgio said he was confident his campaign would be a success because of the Results Party's "good reputation in SA." His first goal as a delegate is to "learn the system in and out."

Litwak believes the Results won the election because "they know a lot of people" and were able to secure club votes since they were in office for several years.

"We were angry because not everybody deserved the position that they gained," said Mulawka.

The UB Students said they would not change anything about their campaign if they had to do it over again. Mulawka said, however, she could have "shown more confidence in the endorsement meetings."

"We're proud of the race we ran and frankly, we deserved to win because we were the better candidates," said Litwak. "The students of UB are the real losers in this one, not us."

Overall, UB Students' Party seemed unsure of what their future would be in SA. Vice presidential candidate Michael Sciortino said he plans to "stay involved in clubs" and that he's leaving the possibility of running for office again open because "there are things I would like to change if I could." Litwak said he does not know what his plans are for the upcoming year but he is not "ruling out" involvement with SA.

Mulawka is reluctant to get more involved with SA because of the "animosity" left behind from conflicts during campaigning and said she's "unsure of where [she] would fit in."

"I really would like to pursue more things outside in the public as opposed to SA," said Mulawka.

UB Students' treasurer candidate Mark Leach, UB Students' NYSSA delegates Carrie McElroy and Vinny Rondinelli, and independent NYSSA candidate Gregory Haynes could not be reached for comment.



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