Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 25, 2021

The Committee for Student Elections (CSE) released the results of the Freshman Class Council election Tuesday afternoon, naming Alexander Koren the President of the Class of 2016.

The six freshman senatorial seats of the Student Government Association (SGA) are to be filled by Craig Heller, Larry Hou, Jahan Mirchandani, Kanami Mori, Amy Sun and Kyra Toomre.

854 freshmen participated in the CSE’s poll, which constitutes 64.3 percent of the Class of 2016, a percentage that is consistent with years past. Koren garnered 248, or 29 percent, of the total presidential votes.

Of the four candidates that ran for the presidential office, Koren’s closest competition was the many write-ins. The highest number of write-in ballots in Hopkins history were cast during this election due to a conflict involving the signatures Niko Kotoulas submitted to the CSE. Having handed in his forms to the wrong mailbox, the CSE reviewed his petition form at a later date than the rest of the candidates. It soon came to light that twenty-eight of his signatures had been signed with false names, such as ilovelax@chillin.com and “Mike Jordan” at insidelacrosse.com, according to the CSE chair, senior Michael Wu.

“Without 200 legit signatures from the your c/o 2016 classmates, per CSE Constitution, he was not eligible to participate in the upcoming election. The fact that he did not even bother to glance at his petition sheets is unimaginable,” Wu wrote in an email to The News-Letter.

“I wish I was notified earlier about my disqualification because I would have been able to campaign more. At least 40 people came up to me at FFC and told me they were sorry because they voted and didn’t know about the write-in option,” Kotoulas wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “My campaign base is stronger then ever, and will continue to grow in the future for elections to come.”

Sixteen candidates ran for freshman senatorial positions, and the votes for the senator-elects were more evenly distributed. The final two spots came down to a tie between Hou and Mori, each with 291 votes.

The CSE delayed the announcement of the results until Tuesday afternoon although the polls closed on Sunday night.

“The 36-hour wait from the time the polls closed to when the results were announced was pretty painful,” Heller wrote in an email to The News-Letter.

The delay was due largely to the fact that the results were some of the closest in Hopkins history. The votes thereby necessitated a second manual count by CSE faculty adviser Robert Turning.

As a whole, most candidates believed campaigning helped them meet classmates they would not have otherwise had a chance to interact with, in turn gaining support for their campaign and establishing a wider network of peers.

“I thought I got really lucky because it was an extremely close election. Every person I met during campaign week mattered and helped get me to where I am now,” Hou wrote in an email to The News-Letter.

“Campaigning, although it was time consuming, was also a fun experience,” Heller wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “Being told to get 200 signatures, initially I thought it would be pure torture. As I was doing it, I actually enjoyed meeting tons of new people.”

Heller’s sentiment regarding the signatures and campaigning was a common theme among the candidates.

The elected students are still planning on achieving the goals they outlined in their platforms.

Koren is devoted to strengthening the bond of the Class of 2016 as President.

“We’re about to spend the next 4 years growing and exploring all together and I need to make sure that everyone in our class understands that the other 1,300 students graduating with us are there to be our classmates, our friends, and our support,” Koren wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “I think that this year should be spent making sure that our class is one of the tightest knit classes Johns Hopkins will ever see and with the help of the Senators of our class (whom I’m very excited to start working with) I think that we can achieve that goal.”

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