Ruthie Braunstein/The Hoya GUSA Executives-elect Ryan DuBose (COL ’02) and Brian Walsh (COL ’02) celebrate their victory last night. Ryan DuBose (COL ’02) and Brian Walsh (COL ’02) were elected GUSA president and vice president by a wide margin in last night’s first fully online executive election, defeating runners-up Bill Jarvis (MSB ’02) and Doug Herrema (COL ’02) by nearly 800 votes.

With an overall participation rate of 36 percent, DuBose and Walsh received approximately 53 percent of the total vote with 1,203 votes.

Jarvis and Herrema came in second with 409 votes, and Brian Dunleavey (MSB ’02) and Rena Borucki (COL ’02) received 337 votes. Joe Kildea (MSB ’02) and Byron LaMotte (COL ’03) registered 100 votes, Michael Green (COL ’02) and Jeff Watkinson (COL ’02) tallied 81 votes and Johnson Elugbadebo (SFS ’02) and Amar Weisman (COL ’03) finished with 72 votes.

DuBose said he was overwhelmed with the news of the victory and appreciative of the student support.

“I’m experiencing so many different emotions,” DuBose said. “I’m happy, nervous, humbled, grateful … mostly grateful for the people that believed in us, who rallied behind us and supported our ideas.”

Walsh said they plan to begin working on their campaign goals immediately.

“After spring break, we are going to re-evaluate what we can get done this semester and also make some long-term goals for next year,” he said. “We’ve been working for almost three years and this is just another step for us.”

Herrema said he was disappointed with the outcome of the election.

“We are happy for them, though, because they worked hard too, and we, hopefully, are still going to be working with them.”

Voter turnout for the election was up from last year, rising from 29 to 36 percent. It is still lower than previous years, though, since 38.5 percent participated in the spring 1999 elections.

Because the election was conducted completely online, students studying abroad were able to participate for the first time.

Will Cosmas (COL ’01), GUSA elections chair, said that although students abroad were inadvertently excluded from the first election e-mail sent Friday, they received all of the voting information sent Tuesday.

“Only 50 of the 700 or so juniors abroad voted, so if they are cut out, generally the participation rate would be higher,” Cosmas said.

Cosmas said that there were no other major problems with the election.

“I’m overall very proud of how everything went,” he said. “The success is really encouraging for the future of GUSA because I think a student government is only legitimate if it has the ability to run a fair election.”

Cosmas also said the online ballot also allowed voters to include demographic information so that future campaigns can more effectively target specific groups in order to increase turnout.

The election comes during a period of debate over the Yard Student Association’s proposal to dramatically restructure student government at Georgetown. Representatives from GUSA, the Yard, Students against the Yard and other student groups are working in a constitutional committee to find a middle ground on reform efforts. If a compromise is reached and approved by the GUSA constitutional council and two-thirds of the GUSA Assembly, students will vote on the new constitution in a referendum. However, if Yard supporters do not back the new constitution, students will vote on the original constitution on March 29. GUSA representative elections have been postponed, pending the result of the referendum.

GUSA President Tawan Davis (COL ’01) said that because of the uncertainty of next year’s student government, he does not know when DuBose and Walsh will begin their administration.

“I don’t think there are two people more prepared to be leaders of the Yard or GUSA or whatever form of student government we end up with,” Davis said.

Vice President for Student Affairs Juan C. Gonzalez said he was “thrilled to know the high voter turnout.”

“It shows the significant number of students interested in the election and that they took time out of their day to express their opinions,” he said.

DuBose is the chairman of Hoya Blue and has served as president of Spring Break in Appalachia. He holds an appointed position on GUSA’s Main Campus Planning Committee and has additionally served as a director in the Office of Leadership Development and a NSO Captain for two years.

Walsh is currently a GUSA junior class representative as well as vice chair of the Assembly. Last year he helped draft the Report on Student Life that helped earn $100,000 for student activities. Walsh is one of five NSO coordinators for next year and has also worked as a NSO captain and orientation adviser. He is also the station manager at GUTV and has spent two years tutoring through D.C. Reads.

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