Sophomores Little and Silson win SC co-presidency in first online election
By biconews On 8 Feb, 2000 At 05:00 AM | Categorized As Archives | With 0 Comments

By Todd Meyer

New Students’ Council Co-Presidents Wheaton Little ’02 and John Silson ’02 ran on a platform that touted their fresh perspective and boundless energy defeating Eric McCalfferty ’01 and Erik Solivan ’01. They will need that energy in the coming weeks as they perform the early duties of their presidencies.

Little and Silson will keep busy as they coordinate Dorm Rep elections for Students’ Council (SC) and Honor Council elections, and meet with as many club heads as possible; in their eyes, the last goal is the most important of all.

“We have a great power to act as facilitators here,” noted Silson. “SC has at times become very distant from the student body.”

The new co-presidents are particularly committed to continuing and extending conversations regarding diversity and community at Haverford. They view themselves as intermediaries between the student body and an “increasingly disconnected administration,” says Little. The hope is to hear the voices of as many students as possible, and to convey all of those voices to the administration.”

“Joe Tolliver tells me he has talked with more than 30 students [regarding community and diversity]. Now, 30 out of 1200 isn’t very good,” Silson observed. The new presidents’ early goal is to broaden those conversations to include a larger number of people, including faculty and staff.

“I hope people get the feeling that we’re approachable,” Little said.

Little and Silson are the first co-presidents of the Students’ Council to be elected through online balloting. The initiative was passed by a 95 percent affirmative vote in the Fall 1998 Plenary and was implemented for the first time last week. The goals of the online voting were primarily to end election fraud and to ease the vote-counting process for Students’ Council.

An added boon of the process this year was a marked increase in voter turnout. “National average [of voter turnout] in a student government election is about 10 percent,” observed outgoing SC President Jesse Ehrenfeld ’00. “We require 40 percent to make our elections valid, but we usually only barely reach that.”

Voter turnout for the online balloting reached a staggering 66 percent. This included 30 students who are currently abroad who voted from such remote locales as London and Chile.

“We couldn’t be happier,” said Ehrenfeld.

The rest of the newly-elected Executive Council includes Secretaries Tamia Harris ’03 and Laura Wilcox ’03, Treasurers Shane Danaher ’03 and Joe Vazquez ’03 and Vice President Travis Combs ’02. Honor council co-chairs are junior Lucy Lyon and sophomore Jenn Louie.

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