VIDEO: Student Senate Officer Runoff Election Results

April 7, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Andy Garcia

Runoff Election Results from on Vimeo.

The results for the runoff election for the presidency and the vice presidency of the Southern Methodist University Student Senate are in.

Student Body Vice President Austin Prentice is president elect while Dedman II Senator Alex Ehmke is vice president elect.

VIDEO: Senate Officers Debate, Elections Underway

March 29, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Samantha Cangelosi

VIDEO: Student Debate from on Vimeo.

Presidents, vice presidents and secretary candidates for Student Senate gathered to discuss their future goals they hope to achieve if elected to office at the Senate Officers Debate in Hughes-Trigg Tuesday evening.

One of the main issues that candidates all hope to focus on is making sure that all students are aware they have a voice when it comes to issues the Senate addresses.

“I suggest that we rewrite pieces of the Student Constitution to put subcommittees under Student Concerns,” presidential candidate Sam Mansfield said. “That’s going to help us make sure we are representing not just schools, but different organizations and different groups of people on campus.”

Shana Ray, a sophomore Meadows senator, said she thinks that campus unity is a very crucial topic during this election.

“The most important issue I would have to say is getting rid of that gap between the Student Senate and the student community,” she said.

She believes candidates did a good job of addressing campus unity and how they plan on dealing with the issue.

Candidates taking individual questions from audience members during the Student Body Officer debate held in Hughes Trigg Commons on Tuesday. (PHOTO BY LAURA MURPHY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Katie Perkins, one of the three presidential candidates, mentioned ideas that would help with communication between the Senate and the student body.

“It would be the president’s job to keep campus unity. I want to see more social events on campus and communication between the student body and Student Senate,” Perkins said.

She also plans to “Perk Up” the senate by making sure the governing body performs to its best ability.

“We have to organize. We have to do that through training. We have to implement our policies and we have to do a significant amount of planning,” Perkins said.

Austin Prentice, another presidential candidate, is running on a “proactive and reactive” platform.

“The proactive part is this is my platform, this is what I’m running on, this is what I need to do,” Prentice said. “The reactive is the student body, it’s the voice. I think they go hand-in-hand.”

Roza Essaw, one of the three vice presidential candidates, also voiced concern about the lack of knowledge students have about who represents them.

She plans on implementing office hours for each senator that way students can meet and visit with those who represent their interests.

“If you don’t know who your senator is, then that means that your views and your interests are not being represented,” Essaw said.

“Most importantly, a student body vice president needs to be able to represent all students on this campus equally and without bias,” said Joseph Esau, another student body vice president candidate. “I have and I will continue to do that.”

Martha Pool, the only candidate running for secretary shared with the audience that she wants to make sure that all students know what is going on at Senate meetings.

She said her reason for running for secretary is she wants students to know how easy it is to get in contact with their senators, and to help them in doing so.

Another major issue addressed was parking on campus.

Alex Ehmke, a vice presidential candidate, wants to establish some sort of outside participation in the Park N’ Pony ticket appeal process.

“I feel like there has to be some sort of third party regulation in order to insure some safety, some sort of protection for students to make sure they aren’t targeted unfairly,” Ehmke said.

Prentice also mentions taking action regarding the issue of parking on campus. He wants to be able to make specific passes for parking areas that one usually parks in.

“I’d like to see more specificity in parking. A lot of people park in the same garage each time,” Prentice said. He wants there to be certain passes corresponding to certain lots or garages on campus.

Angela Martinez, a student senator, believes that all the vice presidential and presidential candidates are qualified, but, in the end, hopes that they can all fulfill their promises if elected into office.

“I really hope that our future student body officers really fulfill that promise that they are making to the student body because, ultimately, that is who we serve and that’s the purpose of their positions,” Martinez said.

Voting begins Tuesday at midnight and closes Thursday at 5 p.m.

The Daily Update: Thursday, April 29

April 29, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Read more

Student Senate Runoff: Torres and Prentice Join Perkins

April 1, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Brooks L. Powell

Jake Torres, Student Body President-Elect; Austin Prentice, Student Body Vice-President-Elect; and Katie Perkins, Student Body Secretary-Elect

Jake Torres, Student Body President-Elect; Austin Prentice, Student Body Vice-President-Elect; and Katie Perkins, Student Body Secretary-Elect (Illustration by Brooks L. Powell / The Daily Mustang)

Junior Jake Torres and sophomore Austin Prentice have won Student Body President and Student Body Vice-President, respectively. Torres won 55 percent of the vote for Student Body President, and Prentice won nearly 59 percent in the Vice-Presidential contest.

They join sophomore Katie Perkins, who was elected Student Body Secretary in a landslide victory last week, securing 68 percent of the vote.

With elections now complete, newly elected Student Body Officers and Senators (click for full results) await inauguration Tuesday, April 27.


Student Body President:
Jake Torres – 906
Jack Benage – 739

Student Body Vice President:
Austin Prentice – 954
Alex Ehmke – 668

Source: Roza Essaw, Student Senate Membership Chair

The Daily Update: Friday, March 26

March 26, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Read more

Student Body President and VP Spots to be Decided in Runoff

March 25, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Brooks L. Powell


(L-R) Jack Benage and Jake Torres, Candidates for Student Body President. Alex Ehmke and Austin Prentice, Candidates for Student Body Vice-President. (Illustration by Brooks Powell / The Daily Mustang)

Student body officer elections aren’t over yet. Candidates in the races for Student Body President and Student Body Vice-President face a runoff next week.

Former Senate membership committee chairman Jack Benage, a sophomore, and junior Education Senator Jake Torres will square off for the presidency, while Senate Chief of Staff Alex Ehmke and Senator Austin Prentice, both sophomores, are at odds over the VP spot.

Katie Perkins, Student Body Secretary-Elect

Katie Perkins, Student Body Secretary-Elect (Illustration by Brooks Powell / The Daily Mustang)

Sophomore Katie Perkins, the Senate organizations committee chair, handily won the race for Student Body Secretary, securing 68 percent of the vote against rival Austin Poynter, also a sophomore.

“I am honored and privileged to have the opportunity to serve the student body,” she said. “I look forward to a great year.”

Benage said he’s pleased to have made the runoff and believes the competition between the Student Body Officer hopefuls has been good for SMU and the Student Senate.

“I’m having fun with it and hoping for the best,” he said.

Torres, the only minority candidate left in the entire Student Body Officer contest after sophomores Derek Hubbard, Matt Neman, and Mohamed Gharib were defeated, said he has backing from a variety of groups on campus.

“I have been really touched by members from so many different communities rallying behind me and offering their support,” he said.

vote totals

Courtesy of Roza Essaw, Senate membership chair.

The margins for the top two spots were close, with only 47 votes separating Benage and Torres, and 96 votes between Prentice and Ehmke.

“Getting the voters that voted for me to continue supporting me will be my major goal,” Prentice said, adding that he plans to stick to his platform through the runoff.

Ehmke, his rival, said he realizes rallying supporters for one more go-round will be a a difficult task.

“It’s just going to be tiring because I have to get everyone out to vote again, and that’s not easy,” Ehmke said in an emailed statement.

Students can vote in the runoff online at beginning at midnight Wednesday, March 31. Polls close at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 1.

Senate membership committee chair and election organizer Roza Essaw was not immediately available to discuss the turnout of this election, which may be one of the best publicized in years. Mass emails were sent daily to the entire student body reminding voters to cast their ballots.

After a grueling week of campaigning, runoff candidates are now gearing up for another round of stump speeches and glad-handing with SMU students.

“It’s going to be a tough week because I have to make up a 96 vote deficit,” Ehmke said. “I think all the candidates are completely exhausted and are truly tired of campaigning.”

To shake off the stress, Ehmke said he and his opponent Prentice plan to meet for a friendly frisbee game Friday afternoon.

Like Perkins, new student senators are off the hook for campaigning after winning their respective elections Thursday night. The full list of elected representatives is as follows:

Lyle School of Engineering Senators:
Alexa Engel
Joseph Esau
Joe Gaasbeck
Claudia Sandoval

Cox School of Business Senators:
Theodore Belden
David Coia
James Davidson
Jack Dawson
Madeline Haugh
Dillon Kruger
Austin Poynter

Meadows School of the Arts Senator:
Armando Aguirre
[Two Vacancies Remain]

Dedman I Senators:
Aden Abiye
Giacoma Cusimano
Alexa Dow
Derek Hubbard
Alex Mace
Mike Miller
Christoph Schmidt

Dedman II Senators:
Alex Ehmke*
Zaenab Farzal
Rachel Fox
Kyle Johnson
Sam Mansfield
Kellie Spano

Simmons School of Education Senator:
Laura Schur
[One Vacancy Remains]

African-American Senator:
Catherine Essig

Asian-American Senator:
Ann Dao

Hispanic-American Senator:
Alejandra Aguirre

International Senator:
Jieun Pyun

Student Center Governing Board Representative:
Joseph Esau

No candidate was elected to serve on the Student Media Board.

*If elected to serve as Student Body Vice-President, Ehmke will forfeit his senatorial seat and assume the role of vice-president. The candidate for Dedman II Senator with the next-highest number of votes will take Ehmke’s place.