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The Dartmouth
April 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

New president takes election with only 33% of the vote

The competitive election predicted by polls last week turned into reality last night, as Dean Krishna '01 and Margaret Kuecker '01 were declared the winners of the Student Assembly presidential and vice presidential races in an election featuring the highest number of voters in almost a decade, but gave neither victor a majority.

A total of 2,198 votes were cast, shattering a nine-year record set in 1993 with 1,785 votes.

Krishna garnered 727 votes, or 33 percent, while write-in candidate Drew Pluhar '00 captured 463 votes to finish in second place with 21 percent. Casey Sixkiller '00 placed third with 16 percent, followed by Jack-O-Lantern humor magazine candidate Roshan Shah '01, 13 percent and Tom Leatherbee '01 with four percent.

Kuecker prevailed in the vice presidential race with the night's highest number of total votes, 802, and percentage cast in her favor, 36. Jack-O-Lantern candidate Anna Van Meter '01 carried 27 percent while Joe Brown '00 ended up with 10 percent.

"Voter turnout was phenomenal, and it confirms that students are taking things more seriously and better understand what's at stake," Kuecker said, referring to a possible positive correlation in the turnout with the controversial Trustee initiative passed over two months ago.

"The Election Advisory Committee did a good job, and [the turnout] translates into a truer representation [of the campus] than in years past," Krishna said.

Krishna said the "most enticing aspect [of the Assembly presidency] is if you want to influence student life, this is the position to do it, and I look forward to making a lot of positive changes to this campus," he said.

For Kuecker, who is off in Washington D.C. this term, waiting for the results was particularly nerve-wracking.

"I was nervous at home checking blitz without a clue [as to when the results would come in]. I'm surprised at how long it took," Kuecker said.

The vice president-elect said that she found out Krishna had won by calling the Assembly office, at which point they had a brief congratulatory conversation.

Krishna and Kuecker have experience this year working together on the executive committee of the Assembly as the respective committee chairs of Student Organizations and Communications.

"Dean and I are aware of each other's strengths and priorities in terms of the Assembly and have talked about the Five Principles," Kuecker said.

Krishna said he initially plans to contemplate the situation alone. Other priorities include his nomination for the vacated Administration and Faculty Committee chair, picking two students for the Initiative Steering Committee and communicating with Kuecker in the coming days.

"It's important to start off on the right foot [with Kuecker] before we make any decisions," Krishna said.

Kuecker is planning to travel to Hanover in the near future, and will meet with Krishna to hold mandatory organizational meetings for next year's Assembly.