Ron Palmese and Denis Scott Elected to GUSA Executive

By Clare McMahon Hoya Staff Writer

After a last-minute closed meeting of the Election Commission, Ron Palmese (MSB ’00) and Denis Scott (COL ’00) were announced as the winners of the GUSA presidency and vice presidency, respectively, for the 1999-2000 school year.

Other matters on yesterday’s ballot were the list of recommendations proposed by the Student Leadership Reform Group, but Election Commissioner Jackie Shapiro (COL ’99) announced that the results of these votes will not be tallied and released until later today.

Palmese and Scott won with a total of 573 votes, followed by Jon Yeatman (MSB ’00) and Wendi Wright (SFS ’01) with 544 votes. Rip Andrews (SFS ’01) and John Butler (COL ’01) finished with 442 votes, and Trevor Rusin (SFS ’00) and Theron McLarty (COL ’00) received 363 votes. The write-in ticket Nick Johnston (COL ’99) and Andrew Geiger (COL ’99) received 170 votes.

Yesterday’s election had a 38.5 percent participation rate, compared to 28 percent last year. Palmese and Scott won the majority of votes only in the junior class, by a margin of 74 votes, with 154 votes from that class.

Yeatman and Wright won the freshman class, with 273 votes, while Andrews and Butler received a plurality of votes in the sophomore class, with 183.

Johnston and Geiger garnered the majority of votes in the senior class, with 106 votes from seniors. In a six-ticket race last year for which they were on the ballot, Johnston and Geiger got only 64 votes total.

The Election Commission held a closed meeting before announcing the official results; however, Election Commissioner Jackie Shaprio (COL ’99) would not comment on the specifics of the meeting.

After the results were tallied, Palmese said, “This is the greatest moment of my life. I’m so thankful that so many students came out today – it truly shows how many students supported us. I think people can relate to us as people first, and then as good leaders.”

Scott added, “I think part of what helped us is the fact that we are sincere. We didn’t just want to win for ourselves, but we wanted to win for everyone else too.”

Palmese and Scott’s campaign was unique in that they proposed as a key plank in their platform the use of corporate funding in order to raise money for student clubs and sports teams.  The same idea was focus of unsuccessful candidates Mike Minnaugh (COL ’99) and Pete Corsell (COL ’99) in last year’s GUSA executive elections.

After his defeat, Andrews voiced his support for Palmese, saying, “I’m really excited for Ron. His campaign was full of the most excitement and energy, and that’s just what GUSA needs. He’s been nothing but nice to us throughout this entire process.”

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