Montana Desabio won the only contested race for SA e-board and students chose to make the student activity fee mandatory during a three-day election that ended Friday.
Desabio, a freshman history and social studies education major, won the vice presidential election with 813 votes, compared to Steven Holguin’s 567 votes. One thousand twelve students abstained.
Desabio ran on a platform of getting “undergraduate students involved with what is happening on campus” and having “open communication between the students and SA officers.” She says she wants to “enhance the student experience by… hosting a diverse set of activities that allow students to feel connected to UB.”
Nicholas Singh, a junior civil engineering major, won the presidential election with 1,462 votes. Nine hundred thirty students abstained. Meanwhile, Austin Wolfgang, a sophomore criminology major, won the treasurer vote with 1,419 votes. Nine hundred seventy three students abstained.
More than 2,390 students voted in this week’s election, signifying a 113% increase in turnout from last September’s election.
Last September, students voted to make the student activity fee voluntary by a nine-point margin. The SA held an identical referendum this week after SA lawyer Joshua Korman said the 2020 result “was an outlier the whole way around.”
More than 75% of students voted to make the student activity fee mandatory for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years this time around, following an aggressive push from SA leaders.
Only 5.15% of the student body — or 1,128 students — voted in the September elections. HERStory, which was led by the since-departed Adolyn Cofie and Alyssa Palacios, won the race with 43% of the vote, edging out the R.I.S.E and DREEM Team parties.
Candidates weren’t allowed to run in parties this election because the “time deadline for declaring party status was by the original mandatory meeting, which already took place, and nobody did so,” according to an SA Elections & Credentials Committee resolution.
Singh, who has served as an SA Board of Directors member and a student engagement ambassador, declined to provide a platform to The Spectrum since it “would vary based on the results from the [student activity fee] referendum.”
Wolfgang, who currently serves as SA Assembly speaker, says his first priority will be to get “clubs access to their budgets and their materials so they can prepare for a return to campus.”
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Justin Weiss is the The Spectrum's managing editor. In his free time, he can be found hiking, playing baseball or throwing things at his TV when his sports teams aren't winning. His words have appeared in Elite Sports New York and the Long Island Herald. He can be found on Twitter @Jwmlb1.