By Tim Sullivan Hoya Staff Writer

In an election marred by problems with GUSA’s experimentation with online voting, 12 GU students were elected to the GUSA general assembly Wednesday. Twenty-eight and a half percent of the student body voted in the election, down from last year’s mark of 41 percent, according to GUSA Election Chair Arjay Yao (COL ’00).

During the course of the election, which was the first conducted exclusively online, hackers forced GUSA and the Saxa server, which administered the election, to close the election and extend it for an additional hour, until 10 p.m. “There’s some stuff I can’t disclose,” Yao said “but no one invaded [the site] or [messed] with the votes.”

The class of 2003 elected one new representative, Marty LaFalce (COL ’03), while re-electing Missy Foy (COL ’03), Sean Hawks (SFS ’03) and Oliver “Trey” Street (SFS ’03) to second terms. LaFalce led the election, garnering 354 votes. Hawks received 331, Street 308 and Foy 216, 65 ahead of her closest competitor.

In the class of 2002, Aaron Kass (COL ’02), Brian Walsh (COL ’02), Auggie Bartning (SFS ’02) and Pat Hurley (SFS ’02) were elected to the general assembly. Hurley led all sophomores with 266 votes, while Walsh received 247, Bartning 160 and Kass 148, only five more than Derek Kung (COL ’02).

Three former executive candidates were elected to represent the class of 2001 next year. Jamal Epps (COL ’01) led the junior vote with 116 tallies. Jeff Burns (COL ’01) received 104 votes, Catie Sheehan (COL ’01) received 88 and J. P. Graziano (SFS ’01) received 87.

Foy said that she felt “very good actually,” about being re-elected. She said she plans to “represent the students” during her tenure as GUSA representative, and plans to increase communication between GUSA and students, via both mass e-mails and personal communications.

LaFalce said that he is “really excited to get started” and had set up several meetings with members of the administration, including Dean of Students James A. Donahue. He said that his biggest concerns were housing, increasing student funding and increasing GUSA communication between both students and the administration.

Hawks said that he was “thrilled” to be re-elected. He said he wants to work to have the Student Activities Commission administer club sports, reduce on-campus printing costs and cut the amount student clubs have to pay to use on-campus space.

Street said that he is “really excited to be able to work again for the students.” He said that he wants to work on keeping Yates open longer and getting recognition for club sports and reducing printing costs.

Bartning said that he is excited about working with Tawan Davis (COL ’01) and Jacques Arsenault (COL ’01), though he said that the group would have to “pick up the slack due to the absence of Joe [Nezgoda (COL ’02)] . regardless we have a good set of people.” He plans to address student concerns as they come up, such as working to get the South Gallery in Leavey open to students.

Walsh said that he going to try to “bring legitimacy to GUSA” and that he hopes that the new representatives will bring about “real reform.” He said that his biggest priority is getting club sports recognized and that Donahue’s pending decision will impact how GUSA moves on the issue. He said he also wants to make sure that initiatives from the second Report on Student Life are acted upon.

Kass said that he would like to see a monthly meeting of the junior class outside of the auspices of GUSA so that students can air their concerns “without bureaucracy.” He also wants to “bring GUSA out to the students.”

Hurley said that he “knows that GUSA has gotten a lot of bad press,” but he thinks that the right people are in place to effect change. He said that the most important thing for him during his tenure will be the day-to-day operations and making sure things “get done.”

Sheehan said she is excited to working with Davis and Arsenault, who she said have already done “a great job.” She said she plans to work on establishing a student activities endowment.

Graziano said that he was “surprised” to be elected. He said he plans to focus on working for the underclassmen, because his class “won’t be here after next year.” He said he also want to make sure problems like the housing crunch don’t happen again in the future.

Burns said that he is expecting to work with Davis and Arsenault to make the Leavey Center “a real student center.” He also wants to work to ensure the legitimacy of GUSA in the coming years.

Yao said that he was pleased with the results of the initial on-line voting. “We think we made it easier for people to vote,” Yao said, adding that it was a “big success.” He said that when GUSA uses online voting next year, it will be “a lot better” because of the experiments this year.

Last month, Davis and Arsenault were elected president and vice president and are set to take over from Ron Palmese (MSB ’00) and Denis Scott (MSB ’00) on Sunday.

Related Links

 Davis/Arsenault Elected GUSA Executives

 GUSA Looks To Implement Web Ballots

 GUSA Online Elections Delayed by Fraud Attempts

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