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The Dartmouth
May 18, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Marton wins presidency

In an apparent call for reform of the Student Assembly, voters chose Janos Marton '04 as next year's student body president following a close election which concluded last night.

Capturing 37.7 percent of the vote, Marton -- who during his campaign advocated refocusing the Assembly and restructuring its committee system -- edged runner-up Michael Perry '03 by just over 100 votes, the narrowest such margin in seven years.

Candidates Tara Maller '03 and Karim Mohsen '03 each won around 13 percent of the vote, while Eric Bussey '01 -- whose belatedly submitted platform failed to appear on the voting website for much of the day on Wednesday -- took 3.8 percent.

Julia Hildreth '05 prevailed over her opponent Stephanie Bonan '03 in the equally close vice-presidential race, winning 54.2 percent of the vote to Bonan's 45.8 percent.

The total turnout of 2,331 students was slightly less than last year's record-setting figure, but still represented the second-largest showing at the polls in the last 12 years.

Current Student Body President Molly Stutzman '02 called the high voter participation "great both in and of itself and in comparison to other schools."

Despite the closeness of the vote, Marton said the high turnout provided him with "a very strong mandate for reform."

"I think the students are ready for a change," he said. "The fact that so many voted showed that people still care about SA."

In all, more than 50 percent of voters chose one of the three "reform" candidates, a group which includes Marton as well as Mohsen and Bussey, both of whom advocated significant change to the Assembly's organizational structure.

A pre-election poll conducted by The Dartmouth put Perry slightly ahead just days before the election, but Marton -- who will succeed Stutzman at the helm of the Assembly -- said his win did not come as a surprise.

"I think as a rule people in Greek houses and '05s are less likely to respond to polls," he said, citing his pro-Greek stance and membership in both Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity and Panarchy as factors which swayed coed, fraternity and sorority members' votes.

Perry -- who received 32.2 percent of the vote for president -- said he was "disappointed" with the election result, but wished both Marton and Hildreth success in the coming year.

Hildreth, who will follow in the footsteps of Michael Newton '04 as the second consecutive freshman to be elected vice president, said her ability "to recognize the flaws" in Student Assembly was what made the difference in her campaign.

"I think I showed that I am not afraid to change the things that don't work well," she said.

Charges brought yesterday by the Election Planning and Advisory Committee that Lucas Nikkel '05, one of Hildreth's campaign workers, had violated a procedural regulation did not result in any sanctions and apparently failed to deter voters.

On Wednesday, Nikkel circulated an email personally critical of Bonan that was deemed to violate election rules against negative campaigning, but Hildreth said the message was not an accurate reflection of her own opinions.

"It's so unfortunate that it happened," she said. "I only have the utmost respect for Stephanie."

While Bonan called the EPAC decision "fine," she said she was "disappointed that negative campaigning won out."

Whether Bonan returns the Assembly next year will depend on "what goals the new administration has," she said, adding that she was "not confident" in the leadership abilities of Marton and Hildreth.

Marton maintained that he and Hildreth see "eye-to-eye" on many important issues, and looked forward to working with her on improving financial aid and addressing work study wages, two pillars of his campaign.

For her part, Stutzman wished the two "the best of luck" in the coming year. "They both have a lot of enthusiasm and ideas," she said. "I'll be excited to see the new direction the Assembly takes."

Several other election races were also resolved yesterday. Jason Ortiz '03 was chosen president for the Class of 2003 during its senior year, while John Robinson '03 edged out Vinny Ng '03 by only four votes for the vice presidency.

Merrick Johnston '05 and Neha Kulkarni '05 were named as president and vice president respectively of the Class of 2005.

New members of the Committee on Standards will be: Morenike Balogun '03, Elise Berman '03, Jordan Cooper '04, Alison Kelley '04, Mirte Mallory '02 and Alan Washington '03.

Elected to the Organizational Adjudication Committee were Erica Berman '03, Reid Coggins '04, Kate Douglas '03, Aquilla Raiford '03, Jeffrey Shaw '04 and Lindsey Wolf '03.

The 21 newly-elected members of the Green Key society are sophomores Cliff Campbell, Reid Coggins, Laura Delaney, Robin Deliso, Tim Fallon, Freddi Ghesquiere, Alexa Hansen, Sheila Hicks, David Hoftiezer, Laura Jones, Patrick Jou, Ruwan Kiringoda, John Doc Kupiec, James Lamb, Brett Martin, Gigi Modrich, Laura Nieskens, Joanne Sprague, Kristen White and Nida Zaidi.