There were already complaints about the procedures employed during the Associated Students senatorial elections when the unofficial results were posted on Thursday morning.
Unofficial results were bittersweet for the two slates running, Movement to Organize for Rights and Education for Students, also known as MORE for Students) and Students Rights.
Sen. Samer Habib, who represents the College of Engineering and Computer Science, was seeking re-election with Students Rights. Habib was only one of the four on the slate who wasn’t elected.
Carlos Gustavo Flores on the MORE for Students slate won the senatorial seat for which Habib was vying.
MORE for Students candidate Marcos A. Zamora was the only candidate of the seven with MORE for Students who wasn’t elected. But MORE for Students candidate Jacqueline Guzman and Students Rights candidate and At-Large Sen. Joy Delouth were elected.
Lizbeth Mateo with MORE for Students, who received the most votes for the Upper Division senatorial position, said the rules weren’t clear and that they weren’t aware Zamora and Guzman would be running against each other.
Zamora said MORE for Students is filing a complaint with the elections committee, asking for a re-election for the At-Large senatorial position because of the ambiguities of the election code. Other students will file complaints as well, Zamora said, but didn’t provide details.
Zamora said he was running for At-Large Senator II and Guzman was running for At-Large Senator IV. The elections code didn’t state they’d be running against each other instead of in two separate categories, Zamora said.
They would’ve run for separate positions if they knew they’d be running against each other, Zamora said.
The ballot stated the position, Senator At-Large, and then listed the three candidates, Jacqueline Guzman, Marcos Zamora and Joy Delouth with instructions to “vote for two.”
Four positions exist for At-Large Senator. Students occupy Seat I and III during the spring semester, and students occupy Seats II and IV during the fall semester.
Delouth said she didn’t think her opponents should file a complaint because the seat positions don’t matter and are used to identify the separate positions.
“Seats don’t really matter,” Delouth said. “It is just basically trying to win.”
Delouth was running for At-Large Senator IV also and said she wasn’t sure who’d receive Seat II and Seat IV.
Cindy Von Quednow, 20, journalism major, said she wasn’t aware she was running against Sen. Javier Roman for the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication. Von Quednow said there were two separate senatorial seats available.
Von Quednow didn’t say if she plans to file a complaint.
A.S. President Adam Haverstock said the elections committee will have a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the complaints filed.
Once all concerns are handled, the elections committee will make a recommendation to the A.S. Senate to vote for approval of the elected senators, Haverstock said.
Haverstock said the results won’t be official until the A.S. Senate has approved them at the Nov. 20 A.S. Senate meeting.
Sen. Byron Baba, a business law major, claimed his fifth victory with the Senate for College of Business and Education. Baba said he’s excited for next semester, which will be his last semester serving in office before he attends law school.
Baba and slate member Delouth said they’d begin working on buying back the bookstore this semester, which was mentioned in their campaign.
“It will be a very hard, upward battle,” Baba said. It can’t be done in one semester and they’ll need a lot of student support, Baba said.
Baba said he plans to evaluate the University Corporation to make sure they’re taking actions that benefit students rather than looking at the bottom line of profit.
A.S. senator and slate member Nicole Umali will returns for her fourth semester serving. Umali said the most substantial problem with the Senate during the elections was in the inexperienced and uneducated senators.
Umali said she’d work with new senators, but didn’t have any specific plans to educate senators aside from the winter retreat, which is organized by A.S. every semester to make sure senators are communicating help with efficiency and “make sure everyone is on the same page.”
Baba said he tries to invite new senators to join his committee and tries to educate new senators about the resources available to them. The hope is to provide training sessions this semester and work with senators to “not to be bullied by the president,” Baba said.
“I’ve been around so long I like to think I know something,” Baba said.
Delouth and Umali credit their victories to their campaigning.
They contacted student organizations’ presidents to inform them of elections and that they were running, Delouth said. A week before elections, their slate was passing out fliers to students and making announcements during classes to let students know the elections were impending and that she was running on a slate.
Umali said the technological malfunction that eliminated online voting this semester affected the elections with “a lot less voter turnout.”
Zamora and Mateo said they didn’t have the resources to accomplish a lot of campaigning, but used Internet networking Web sites like Myspace.com and Facebook.com to inform students they were running on a slate.
Students were voting in a sense for student activism within his slate, Zamora said.
Zamora said people approached him, telling him they voted for him. If his request for a redo for the At-Large Senator isn’t granted, he’ll look at other vacancies for possible appointment, Zamora said.
Von Quednow credits her win to her last minute partnership with MORE for Students. Von Quednow added her name to the slate on the last day for submissions.
“Recent occurrences show the student population is not being represented,” Von Quednow said of her last minute decision to run and of minorities in general being under represented.
Von Quednow said the predominately Latino descent of the MORE for Students slate will hopefully change that.
Mateo said she’s excited to start working with students and persuade them to become more involved and aware of student government.
“We need to be checking A.S. and hold them, hold us, accountable for really representing students,” Mateo said.
Seven hundred eighty students voted.
Unofficial results are as follows: Lizbeth Mateo for Upper Division Senator won against Jaycynda Trifone, Byron Baba for the College of Business and Education won against Eder Arizmendi, Cindy Von Quednow won against Javier Roman for the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication and Carlos Gustavo Flores for the College of Engineering and Computer Science won against Samer Habib.
The following were uncontested positions: Alma De Jesus for the College of Humanities, Nicole Umali for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Nancy Treiu for the College of Science and Math and Ricardo Valdez II for graduate division.
Students barely agreed on the vote to change the A.S. Mission Statement by 313 to 303.
The new mission statement will state: “The Associated Students is the primary advocate for students at California State University, Northridge and provides excellent meaningful programs and services designed to create and enhance a spirited, learning-focused campus environment.
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