Glitch results in senate seat run-off election

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March 31, 2009

2:40 AM

The College of William and Mary Student Assembly will hold a run-off election for the class of 2010’s fourth senate seat Thursday, April 2 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Erik Houser ’10 will run uncontested for the position, after his opponent Eric Newman ’10 dropped out of the race late Monday afternoon.

Although Houser will be the only candidate on the ballot, members of the class of 2010 will be allowed to cast votes for write in candidates. If Houser does not win the majority of the vote, the senate seat will remain vacant until the fall 2009 SA elections.

A technical glitch during the March 26 SA elections compromised the 2010 senate election. The College’s online voting system permitted graduate students to vote in undergraduate senate races, and the number of graduate students who voted exceeded the margin of victory between Newman and Houser.

According to Sen. Matt Beato, 18 graduate students voted in the 2010 senate race. Newman and Houser were within three votes of each other.

Illegal graduate votes did not affect the outcome of any other undergraduate SA senate race.

Newman said he dropped out of the race because he did not campaign well and did not have a platform.

Houser said he decided to run for SA senator to mock those who take the SA senate too seriously.

“It started out being a satire of the way things are done at this school,” Houser said.
“And then the response became such that I thought I could actually win. At this point, it seems like I will 100 percent be elected. Then, I started to think about what my campaign will be.”

Houser believes that his initial indifference makes him a good candidate for the senate.

“I have never been to a student assembly meeting,” Houser said. “You know, I come from frat row and that constituency. I have no idea what they do. I don’t give a shit about [what] the student assembly does. The people who voted for me probably don’t know what it does either. But I want to start facilitating that conversation.”

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