Every vote counts

AS elections results, record turnout, run-offs and close votes

By Sam Robinson
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Lauren McClain (right), AS president, hugs the newly elected Basic Needs Senator Maddy Maurer (left). Photo by Sam Robinson.

By a margin of just one vote, Antonio Hernandez is the newly elected Associated Students (AS) College of Science Senator. Election results were announced April 16 at an event in the Student Center.

Maddy Maurer was elected to fill the new Basic Needs Senator position. Maurer was elected after two run-offs. She had a six vote lead.

“I am very excited to be in this position,” said Maurer. “I am looking forward to the work to come next year.”

Hernandez and Maurer both said they are looking forward to working with the other candidates who ran in their positions and to get them involved in AS.

The newcomer Rebecca Harbison nudged out the incumbent College of Health Sciences and Human Services Senator Francis Everman. Everman maintained a stoic exterior when the announcement was made. Harbison was not at the event.

“It was an honor to run; it was great campaign,” said Everman. “I will find another way to serve the community.”

The turnout for the AS elections was the highest it has been in California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) history. Lauren McClain, current AS president, said more than 800 students voted out of the 6,600 who were eligible to do so. That is a 12 percent turnout.

The new AS President is Jared Reyes, who ran unopposed and garnered 81 percent of the votes. Other uncontested winners are Ava Faith Castro, Sustainability Senator and Annabel Negrote, College of Education Senator.

Jared Reyes is all smiles upon learning he was elected to be the next AS President. Photo by Sam Robinson.

“I look forward to continuing to advocate for the students of CSUMB and growing the AS to become an even better organization,” said Reyes.

Due to issues that arose during the election cycle, no winner was announced in the unopposed rase for VP of University Affairs. Rickie Wattanakasaem was the candidate in that spot.

Candidates who were not elected, and other interested students, can apply for the vacant AS positions.

“I would like to emphasize our open positions and that hiring will begin and the application will be posted no later than tonight,” said McClain at Monday’s Results Release party. “We are looking for an Undeclared Senator, Diversity and Inclusion Senator, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Senator, Vice President of External Affairs, and Executive Vice President.”

Carol Chen, a Basic Needs Senator candidate was already asking McClain about the process and showed a lot of interest.

McClain stated she was very happy with the turnout for the election and that this is a “good group for next year.” She did acknowledge that vote apathy is still an issue, but is pleased with the interest non-elected candidates have in other positions.

“It was a really great fight and you had wonderful campaigns,” McClain said at the beginning of the event.

Ronnie Higgs, Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Services, was also very pleased with this election cycle. He refused to say winner or losers, and simply referred to “top vote getters.”

“You are all winners,” he said. “You want to be a leader. Don’t let this stop you. We look for leaders. We need you.”

He added this was a valuable lesson in civics for all of those involved.

You can find the application and information on open positions at csumb.edu/as.

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