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Student Association e-board elections draw at least nine candidates

Candidates register under three parties following last year’s party-less race

Four undergrads will be running in the upcoming Student Association presidential race.
Four undergrads will be running in the upcoming Student Association presidential race.

A total of nine candidates — four for president, three for vice president and two for treasurer — are running for positions on the Student Association e-board for the 2022-23 academic year, SA Chief of Staff Will Eaton confirmed in an email Tuesday. 

All but one candidate will be running under a party banner. No candidates registered with a party in last year’s race, resulting in a party-less election

Current SA Treasurer Austin Wolfgang is running for president as a member of the “Blue Strength” party alongside current Vice President Montana Desabio, who is running for reelection. SA Senate Chair Tyler Herman is joining them as the party’s candidate for treasurer. 

A.J. Franklin — colloquially known around campus as “boombox guy” — is heading the “Amplify” party ticket, with Alexandra Cuatlayo running for vice president and Alana Lesczynski running for treasurer. 

Franklin is a Spectrum contributing writer.

Becky Paul-Odionhin and Sammi Pang are running for president and vice president, respectively, with the “Paul & Pang” party. No treasurer is running with them at this time. 

And Nathen Cottom has entered the race for president as an independent candidate. 

One student, Amitesh Sharma, completed a petition to run for president but did not attend Monday’s mandatory meeting for candidates, according to Eaton. Sharma will have the opportunity to make up the meeting and appear on the ballot but will otherwise be forced to withdraw from the race. 

Nicholas Singh, the current president, will graduate and thus not run for reelection. 

The election will take place from March 28 to April 1. All undergraduate students are eligible to vote and will be able to do so on the SA’s website, according to SA election rules

While smaller than the slate of e-board candidates for the 2020-21 academic year, this year’s cohort is larger than last year’s, when Singh and Wolfgang ran uncontested in races for president and treasurer, respectively, even after the SA extended the filing petition deadline. 

All undergraduate students in good academic standing are eligible for candidacy. Candidates had to collect signatures from 30 other undergraduate students to secure a spot on the ballot. The number of required signatures will increase to 100 in future e-board elections. 

The SA serves as the undergraduate student government, overseeing most undergraduate student clubs, hosting its own events, advocating for the undergraduate student body and providing legal services to individual students. It is funded by the $109 mandatory student activity fee, which students must approve by referendum every other year. 

SA e-board members receive annual stipends of $15,750. 

This is a developing story. Check back for further updates. 

Grant Ashley is a senior news/features editor and can be reached at grant.ashley@ubspectrum.com


GRANT ASHLEY
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Grant Ashley is the editor in chief of The Spectrum. He's also reported for NPR, WBFO, WIVB and The Buffalo News. He enjoys taking long bike rides, baking with his parents’ ingredients and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. He can be found on the platform formerly known as Twitter at @Grantrashley. 

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