A.S. presidency to be determined in runoff

Daily Sundial

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With no candidate receiving more than 50 percent of the vote in last week’s Associated Students presidential election, the top two vote getters for the 2005-2006 office will square off once again on April 27-28.

Chad Charton and running mate Safa Sajadi received 40 percent of the vote (1160 votes) and will face Zachary Bates and his running mate, Ana Matijasevic, who received 33.1 percent of the vote (915 votes).

There were nearly 2,900 votes cast in this year’s election, according to Brian Flores, director of elections for A.S.

Flores said the number represented about a 50 percent increase from last year’s presidential election.

“A lot of the candidates were organized,” Flores said. “It was a very active campaign.”

The elections produced 10 A.S. senatorial seat winners, five University Student Union Board of Directors winners, the passing of the Student Health Center fee referendum, as well as the selection of the Homecoming court.

The Homecoming winners will be announced at the Big Show 5 on May 8.

The candidates have a week to convince students that they are the right ticket to lead A.S., CSUN’s student government with a multi-million dollar budget.

Bates and Charton said they were excited by the voter turnout and the degree in which students challenged them and their running mates to explain why the candidates deserved their vote.

Bates said the awareness on campus is strong, and any assumptions about students’ “lack of care” regarding A.S., is completely wrong.

“This (election) is a big thing,” Bates said. “One of the biggest elections this school has had in a long time.”

Charton said he was pleasantly surprised that he and Sajadi received the most votes, and said they were going to “keep the ball rolling.”

“We’re going to go (speak to) as many clubs and organizations as we can,” Charton said.

Presidential hopeful Enrique Galan and his running mate Peter Gallego received 20.5 percent of the vote (567 votes), more than the difference that separated the two remaining tickets. Both tickets will be working hard to reach students outside of Greek organizations and student athletics.

Charton said his slate, “Concerned Students United for Northridge,” won all their senatorial seats but one, and included students from broad and diverse backgrounds. The one thing they had in common, Charton said, was that they were all “respected in their fields and departments,” Charton said.

Bates said he has made an effort to reach out to clubs and organizations, like the Chemistry Club, which have not received much support in the past.

As student-athletes, Bates said he and Matijasevic have experience dealing with people from many backgrounds and with diverse interests.

“The track team is as diverse as any group in the school,” Bates said.

Plans for a debate sponsored by the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council and organized by Alpha Xi Delta member Shawna Williamsen fell through after Matijasevic received an e-mail from somebody she does not know, warning her that the debate would be an attempt to discredit she an Bates.

Williamsen, A.S. director of personnel, said she came up with the idea for the debate in the A.S. office in the presence of A.S. Director of Elections, Brian Flores and Jamison Keller, activities coordinator for student development and International programs.

The suggestion was made that a second debate be sponsored by an organization and Williamsen suggested the Greeks, but insists that she had no desire to sway the election one way or the other.

Bate said that if A.S. or a neutral organization sponsored a second debate he and Matijasevic would participate.