Ferrari, Zhu elected to lead Student Assembly

by MICHAEL RIORDAN | 4/15/13 10:00pm

by Nook Harquail / The Dartmouth

The student body vice president race proved closer, with Michael Zhu '14 defeating Ferrari's unofficial running mate Pallavi Kuppa-Apte '14 by six votes. Zhu, who ran on an unofficial ticket with Wood, earned 776 of the 1,546 votes cast. Last spring, outgoing vice president Julia Danford '13 ran on an unofficial ticket with outgoing student body president Suril Kantaria '13.

Wood received 637 votes, Leger received 425 votes and Ramirez received 329 votes.

Ferrari said he was excited about his victory and ready to work with his former opponents.

"I didn't win by a landslide," he said. "This was a mandate for cooperation."

The student body president should be judged by how well he can collaborate with others, Ferrari said.

"The first marker of success will be how I'm going to reach out to the other candidates and ask them to help out," Ferrari said. "And I said this during the campaign, we can get more done together. They're a great resource because they've studied up on the issues."

Ramirez said he plans to work with Ferrari if he is called upon, and that he looks forward to seeing where Ferrari takes the Assembly.

Ferrari plans to go on a "listening tour," to discuss campus issues with student groups, he said.

The Assembly's most salient challenge will be to respond to recent incidents of hate speech and "acts of intolerance," Ferrari said.

"I think that has really divided the community and affects the daily lives of a lot of people at Dartmouth," he said. "While that's not the issue we can fix the most quickly, that's certainly the one that calls us most to action."

Incorporating discussions about race and identity into first-year floor programming could be an appropriate first step, he said. He plans to collaborate with the Office of Pluralism and Leadership.

Ferrari's emphasis on building a unified Dartmouth community is a proposal everyone can support, Wood said.

"I will do my best to stay involved because there was a lot of crossover in our platforms," she said.

Leger said Ferrari ran a strong campaign and she expects he will devote himself to important campus issues.

Before Ferrari assumes the presidency, Kantaria said he plans to discuss the incoming president's short- and long-term goals. Although Ferrari is currently studying on the government foreign study program in Washington, D.C., he expects to assume the position by the end of spring. He also plans to be on campus this summer to help transition President-elect Philip Hanlon.

All of the candidates were worthy of the office and ran commendable campaigns, Kantaria said.

"It's important to note that all the candidates did a great job," he said. "Unfortunately, there can only be one winner."

The last time tickets were split was in 2005, when the student body vice president Jeffrey Coleman '08 ran on an unofficial ticket with Brian Martin '06, who lost to student body president winner Noah Riner '06.

Zhu said he was "confused and surprised" about the split tickets because he expected uniformity in the results.

"I thought for sure it would be one ticket," he said. "I never thought I would be paired with Adrian because I thought it was Adrian and Pallavi or Kelly and I."

Though he does not know Ferrari well, Zhu said he is excited to work with him.

Kantaria said the split tickets will not cause tension.

"The way elections work at Dartmouth you don't really run on tickets," Kantaria said. "You don't vote for tickets. You vote for individual people."

It is important that their partnership brings affiliated and unaffiliated perspectives together, said Ferrari, who is unaffiliated. Zhu is a member of Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity.

The two will work together as representatives for the entire student body, Kuppa-Apte said.

Ferrari said he was disappointed that there will not be a "female voice" in the top two Assembly positions.

Low voter turnout and sparse debate attendance marked this year's elections. The 1,845 ballots submitted marked a 394-vote decrease from last year's 2,239. In 2011, 1,665 ballots were cast, a lower voter turnout from 2008 to 2010, when between 2,000 and 2,500 students voted. Campaigning began on April 9 at midnight.

Chisom Obi-Okoye '14 was elected 2014 Class Council president and Gina Greenwalt '14 was elected 2014 Class Council vice president. Both ran unopposed. Justin Sha '15 and Chase Mertz '15 will serve as 2015 Class Council president and vice president, and Hersh Trivedi '16 and Dari Seo Seo '16 will serve as 2016 Class Council president and vice president.

Voters could select as many candidates as they wanted through an approval voting procedure. All students, including those off-campus, were eligible to vote, and voting was open from midnight until 8 p.m. on Monday.

Staff writer Lindsay Ellis contributed reporting to this article.