Silence descended as soon as Elections Manager Lexi Evans stood up and began to speak to the senate room filled with ASCSU election hopefuls and spectators.
After two weeks of campaigning, interviews, debates and face-to face time on the plaza, the eight candidates sat among supporters, waiting for the announcement.
“The winner of this year’s election,” Evans said, “is Samantha Guinn and Lance Li Puma.”
The crowd jumped from their seat to applaud their newly elected leaders of ASCSU.
“I can’t even believe it,” Li Puma said. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet.”
According to Guinn, the first thing she plans to do now that the election is over is thank her supporters.
“We need to write everybody letters and tell them how much they mean to us,” Guinn said. “There is no way we could have done all of this without them — there’s just not.”
With a 16.62 percent voter turnout, voting numbers were lower than previous years. According to Evans, the LSC construction was a huge hurdle for the four candidates, but all of ASCSU came together to resolve the issue.
Before voting began, Guinn received a phone call from past ASCSU president, Eric Berlinberg, about her campaign.
“He was the president when I was a freshman. He called me Sunday night before voting starts and said ‘Do you remember that girl that walked into my office freshman year and said how do I get to where you are?’” Guinn said. “He looks and says ‘Well I hope you are still that girl and you can go out and get it.’”
Berlinberg said he was impressed when a confident freshman walked into his office three years ago and asked to have coffee with him.
“From my perspective as someone who is an alum, it is very impressive to see her platforms,” Berlinberg said. “I am very honored that she is joining the ranks.”
Guinn and Li Puma’s platforms include improving and expanding the test file, improving campus wireless and setting up a CSU food pantry.
After making their way around the room to receive congratulations from both their supporters and opponents alike, both Guinn and Li Pima stepped out to call their families.
“Our moms cried,” Guinn said.
The Guinn and Li Puma campaign received 372 more votes than the Badhesha and Lyle campaign, who came in second.
“I think the election went well,” Deep Badhesha said. “I was disappointed the voter turnout was so low.”
The Green and Webb campaign wished Guinn and Li Puma the best of luck and looks forward to seeing their own platforms still become a part of CSU.
“Although votes were not in our favor, I want to thank our supporters,” Chelsey Green said. “I hope to see our platforms implemented into ASCSU next year.”
The Corona and Hentze campaign admitted to being happy with the results and are interested in becoming a part of ASCSU in the future.
“We are happy that who won, won,” Alex Corona said. “It depends on where they want us.”
2014-15 Associated Students of CSU Presidential Election results:
1. Samantha Guinn and Lance Li Puma: 1,484 votes
2. Deep Badhehsa and Naomi Lyle: 1,112 votes
3. Chelsey Green and Kohl Webb: 1,055 votes
4. Alex Corona and Iris Hentze: 244 votes
Voter participation rate: 16 percent
Last year’s voter participation rate: 20.9 percent
Collegian ASCSU Beat Reporter Stephanie Mason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.