CU Student Government elections make history with voter turnout
JEREMY PAPASSO
CU Student Government elections make history with voter turnout

The winners are…

CUSG

President: Andrew Yoder

Vice President of External Affairs: Brooks Kanski

Vice President of Internal Affairs: Carly Robinson

Representatives-At-Large: Brian Taylor, Samuel Bell, Kaitlyn Bruce, Rodrigo Gonzalez

ASSG

Co-executives: Larissa Armand, Joe Dinnen

Representatives-At-Large: Kaylah Braun, Mitchell Whitus, Sean Robinson, Chris Marshall, Logan Schlutz

UCEC

President: Sam Nejedly

Vice Presidents: Jocelyn Mulkey, Lauren Shapiro

Senators: Jeff Lassen, David Gillis

Representatives-At-Large: Sean Ortiz, Barbara Bowden, Kumar Thurimella, Ryan Kophs, Shelby Buescher, Matt Schwartz, Lauren Glogiewicz

Leeds

Representatives-At-Large: Sophie Guerra, Alexis Scobie, Emily Booth, Wendy Ning, Jacob O’Keefe, Samantha Argos, Lisa Meleney, Robert Pagano, Grant Carter, Lucas Siegel, Jessica Wambsgans, Nikita Trusov, Andrea Meli, Zachary Yaroch

A record number of students voted in the University of Colorado Student Government elections this week, which passed a referendum that will increase student fees by $125 to renovate the campus Recreation Center.

CUSG released the election results Friday night, which included 10,407 votes cast with 7,334 in favor of the “Buff up the Rec Center” referendum.

The fee increase of about $125 per semester, per student is expected to go into effect fall 2013, which will affect most freshmen, sophomores and incoming students.

Details of the nearly $63 million renovation are still being finalized.

Cheryl Kent, director of the Rec Center, said the existing facility will eventually garner additional space, as well as an overhaul.

Despite student support for the renovation and fee hike, students are still unsure if the remodeled facility will be worth the money.

CU sophomore Devyn Wishengrad said she didn’t vote on the referendum, but has been hearing a lot of debate about the changes that she and her peers will be paying for in coming years.

“If the renovations are completed while I’m still here and I get to use them and not just pay for them, then I think it’s fine,” Wishengrad said.

CU junior Phillip Nordeck said he doesn’t expect to still be a student at CU when the fee goes into effect, but he had his younger brother — a weight-lifting teenager — in mind when he voted for the renovation.

“I think he would think it was worth it,” Nordeck said.

The voter turnout demolished the previous CUSG record of 6,844 in the spring of 2006, according to Danielle Warly, CUSG election commissioner.

CUSG — the largest student government in the country, controlling over $36 million in student fees — has a history of low-voter turnout, making the increased interest more significant to candidates and current administration.

“The Election Commission is so excited to see a 36 percent student turnout in this election,” Warly said. “It’s really a testament to the dedication of the candidates and the amazing staff and volunteers at the Rec Center who spread the word about the Rec Center referendum.”

CU sophomore Krissy Nowakowski said she voted for the first time this spring after realizing she could not avoid the awareness spread across campus.

“There was definitely more chalking and posters and tabling than in past years,” Nowakowski said. “The candidates did a better job of spreading the word.”

But not all students caught the election bug.

CU senior Chris Daruns said he has heard a few things about the election recently, but has not voted in the past and “doesn’t intend to start now.”

The Invest ticket – the only conservative ticket running this spring – swept the CUSG and ASSG elections taking spots for every position. Two UCEC candidates from the EDGE ticket took two Representative-at-Large positions.

CUSG’s new president, Andrew Yoder, will be taking office at the end of the semester.

“Months and months and months of hard work paid off,” Yoder said, just after results were posted on CUSG’s website Friday night. “Thanks to all the students for the support. This just proves that we really do represent the entire campus.”

Yoder said he will begin his term by “reinvigorating and restarting the executive staff working for the students.”