Ben Shaw (COL ’08) was elected president of GUSA Tuesday by a landslide margin, becoming the first candidate in at least five years to win office with a majority of the vote.

Shaw and vice-presidential candidate Matthew Appenfeller (COL ’08) took just over 52 percent of the vote, far outpacing the second- and third-place tickets of Jake Styacich (COL ’09) and John Dougherty (SFS ’09), who took 21.3 percent, and Enoch Bevel (COL ’08) and Munir Jawed (SFS ’08), who received just under 21.1 percent. Luke Hillman (COL ’08) and Gage Raley (COL ’08) came in a distant fourth, receiving just over 4 percent of first-place votes.

“Throughout the course of the campaign we’ve talked to a lot of students, and we look forward to hearing from them throughout the next year,” Shaw said.

The president- and vice president-elect will be sworn in by early March.

Shaw and Appenfeller – whose campaign slogan, “I Love Georgetown, but.” became a popular emblem behind which students voiced their concerns to the executive candidates – made wireless Internet expansion, meal plan flexibility, add/drop period extension and distribution of free national newspapers on campus the biggest parts of their platform.

“We think the newspapers issue is something we can start rolling on right away,” Shaw said.

A total of 2,121 voters cast a total of 1,973 valid ballots in the election, about 30 percent of the student body. Voter participation was slightly lower than last year, when 2,270 votes were cast. In October, over 3,550 students voted in a Student Association referendum, which resulted in the formation of the Senate.

For the first time in a GUSA executive election, students were asked to rank their choices when they voted. If no ticket received an outright majority of first-choice votes, the results would have been tallied using instant-runoff voting, apportioning lower-choice votes to candidates until one ticket had a majority. Shaw and Appenfeller’s majority of first-place votes precluded the new system from being used.

Noelker said that some students informally complained that they did not receive the e-mail with a link to GUSA’s online voting system, which the Election Commission sent Monday night. No official complaints were filed.

“I spoke to [University Information Services] and they said that the reason why students did not receive the e-mail was because their mailbox was too full or they put it in the trash,” she said. “There was normal bounce-back from the e-mail . no abnormalities.”

Noelker said that, especially after last year’s election, in which top vote-getter Khalil Hibri (SFS ’07) was disqualified for violations of election bylaws, the election went smoothly.

GUSA President Twister Murchison (SFS ’08) said that he was satisfied with the election process and results.

“It’s a stark process between this year and last year. We definitely came a long way,” he said. “Having a strong majority for Ben and Matt will send a strong signal to the administration. These guys have a strong student majority behind them.”

Styacich, who served as secretary of housing and facilities in urchison’s administration, said that he supports the new leadership. He said that he plans to remain active in GUSA.

“I am very happy for Ben and Matt,” he said. “I’m a little disappointed for us, but they were the two guys I was rooting for behind us.”

Bevel, the former vice chair of the GUSA Assembly, said that although he thinks the new GUSA leaders will do a good job, he will not remain active in GUSA.

“Ben Shaw is a good guy, and Matt [Appenfeller] as well,” he said.

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