Current GCSA President Josh Grambow announced tonight that rising senior Jonathan Frink has won the election for Student Body President for the 2019-2020 academic year. Elected to serve with Frink as Executive Vice President is Chinese international student Jabez Wen. The Frink-Wen ticket successfully built a coalition of diverse students to secure their victory in Friday’s election.
Frink’s victory was not inevitable though; competing against two veterans of GCSA, he had his work cut out for him. With no record of service inside Gordon’s student government, he publically touted his credentials as a former intern for a state senator and a political science major. The California native tirelessly campaigned, knocking on doors and talking to countless students. In the end, his work paid off. In accepting his victory, Frink said, “I want to thank everyone who supported us. We’re really excited for next year! We’re excited to be your President and Vice President and share our vision, create more engagement with the students, advance Gordon’s reputation and really enhance your experience. We’re excited to partner with you next year and serve you and listen to you as we represent you.”
With their mandate to lead, Jonathan Frink and Jabez Wen have proposed a variety of policy and program initiatives they intend to pursue. From partnering with the community and local churches to a proposed weekend cooking class, their agenda is ambitious and intentional. Their platform also emphasized the importance of ensuring the voices of athletes and multicultural groups are heard. This focus isn’t too surprising; Frink plays tennis for Gordon and Wen is an international student.
Current Vice President of Club Development Arwen Struthers and Vice President of Finance Erin McKeon were both bested in the three way election. When asked for her emotions about the election results, Vice President Mckeon shared, “We’re disappointed, but we are happy for Jonathan and Jabez. They fought a good campaign. We are here to support them in whatever way we can moving forward.”
Vice President Struthers echoed this sentiment, saying, “While I am sad that Cailyn and I won’t be able to serve in this role, I am excited to see how Jonathan and Jabez serve the student body because I know they have a heart for students and want the best for you.”
In total, 875 votes were cast. The Frink campaign won 53% of the vote, totaling 464. Arwen Struthers and Cailyn Nusser received 25% of the vote with 221. Erin McKeon and Cam Grinnell received 20% of the vote with 178.
The successful turnout in the election can likely be attributed to Friday’s GCSA Elections Convocation. Combining candidate speeches, questions from President Grambow, and email-submitted questions from the audience, the convocation created heightened awareness about the top student government race.
While the Presidential election attracted the most attention thanks to its unusually competitive nature, voters elected several other officials for positions in the Presidential Cabinet and the legislature. The race for Student Body President was the only contested race.
Sabrina Jandreau, a rising senior who currently serves as a Representative-at-large was elected to the position of Vice President of Finance. Catherine Corbin, a rising sophomore was elected to student government as Vice President for Academic Affairs. This will be her first time holding elected office with GCSA.
While there were 9 total available representative seats (the freshman class representative race will take place in September), only two candidates ran. Ryann Soltero, who currently works as freshman class representative will continue on, serving the Class of 2022. Rising senior Aaron Davies also ran to fill a representative-at-large position.
Mason Miller currently serves as Executive Secretary and oversees elections. When asked about the unusually low number of candidates, he commented, “I think it’s a pretty demanding application process. A number of people didn’t start considering it seriously until a little too late.” He added, “The idea of supplemental elections is probably pretty attractive.”
Per the bylaws of the student government, a second round of elections will be held within the next thirty days to fill the remaining open positions. These include, junior class representative, senior class representative, five representatives-at-large, the Vice President of Student Life, the Vice President of Communications, the Vice President of Club Development and the Executive Secretary. Over the next days, GCSA will provide information on how students can run for the remaining seats.