By Julie Pike, Editor-in-Chief
After a week of tallying votes, the results of the recent Student Government elections were sent out to students by Dean of Students Rodney Mondor last Friday.
Averi Varney, whose going into her junior year as a political science major, was elected as the Student Body President for the next academic year. She will be taking over for current president, Katelyn Seavey. Varney served as Student Senate Chair for the fall semester of 2018.
Varney says that this position “will allow me to work more directly with students and give me the freedom to work on issues on campus I believe are important.” She has a few projects that she hopes to work on during her time as president.
“I believe my job is to listen and take on student concerns such as the shortage of housing, parking, cleanliness on campus, campus safety, etc.,” she says. “I realize these are big problems that are not as easy to address as we’d like to them to be but I’d like to find out exactly what the university is doing about it and make this information available to students/”
Varney was running alongside students Shaman Kirkland and Trevor Hustus, both political science majors as well. Voting occurred from April 8-11, and a total of 409 students participated, approximately 5% of the total students enrolled at USM.
Also in the elections were new Student Senator positions, of which everyone who ran was voted in, as well as a referendum question to raise the Student Activity Fee. In a close vote, those in favor of raising the fee beat out those against, at 49% and 45% respectively.
Raising the Student Activity Fee will increase the funds that go to the Student Government Association, who fund student organizations, said Alex Holderith, Chair of the Student Senate.
With the new arrangement, “Students taking one to 5.5 credit hours are required to pay $40, students taking six to 11.9 credit hours are required to pay $60, and students taking 12 or more credit hours are required to pay $80, with an automatic adjustment for inflation annually,” Holderith said.
* Avery Varney – 163 votes 40%Shaman Kirkland – 140 votes 34%Trevor Hustus – 79 votes 19%
* Libby Bertrand – 73 votes 53%* Marina Eneeva – 72 votes 52%* Caleb Howell – 75 votes 54%* David Reed – 68 votes 49%* Tyler Soucy – 73 votes 53%
* Ryan Courborn – 172 votes 64%* James Joseph – 160 votes 59%* Marshall Woods – 157 votes 58%
* Nathan Carolow – 207 votes 51%* Barret Hess – 182 votes 44%* Alex Holderith – 211 votes 52%* Mohamed Omar – 241 votes 59%
* Yes: 201 Votes 49%No: 184 Votes 45%Null: 24 votes 6%