TJ Williams’ 123 votes for student body president were more than enough in an student government election with drastically lower voter turnout previous spring contests and all candidates running unopposed.

With 146 verified ballots cast, the number of votes was less than half those in the spring 2011 elections and less than a quarter of those cast in 2010 at the University of Southern Maine. All Student Senate candidates were also elected since they ran uncontested.

“It feels great,” said Williams on Thursday when he found out the results of the spring 2012 Student Government Association elections. “I’m really excited to take what the current student body president has done and keep the ball rolling.”

Williams, a student senator and Board of Student Organizations president, ran uncontested after current Student Body President Chris Camire dropped out of the race last month. Camire, a sophomore technology management major, said he is happy and excited that Williams will be the person to replace him.

“TJ was the first person I met at USM, and I’m more than confident he’ll make a great leader,” Camire said. “We’re practically attached at the hip, so I think it’ll be a really smooth and easy transition.”

Williams said he would like to use his office to strike a balance between focusing on faculty, administration and students. He said he would like to hold regular forums with members of the community to gauge what issues are important to them.

The student body president-elect also weighed in on the ongoing strife between faculty and President Botman. “The vote of no confidence is really rough because it will hurt the students in the long run if faculty are upset,” Williams said. “But I think fighting against Botman is the worst thing faculty could be doing right now.”

Williams received 70 votes from residential students and 53 from commuter students.


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