David Alpert ’13 thought he was being taken to an Honor Council hearing for voter fraud when he walked into the Library Tavern off Richmond Road. Rather than a late-night judicial hearing, a celebration party awaited him. Newly elected as well as seasoned Student Assembly members cheered and clapped as the newest freshmen class president realized he had won the election.
“I would say I was pretty surprised that I won,” Alpert said. “I was really nervous. I thought it was going to be really close. The other candidates did a really great job.”
Alpert, a California native, won the 2013 presidency with 46 percent of the vote. Alpert’s competitor Jason Palmer ’13 won 37 percent of the vote and third candidate Connor Bleakley ’13 won 16 percent of the vote. Alpert had been involved with student government in high school and said he was inspired by his fellow classmates to run.
“I saw a lot I like in the class, a lot of passion right away during orientation,” he said. “I thought this class could do a lot of great things together, and I want to be a part of that.”
Alpert spent many hours getting to know his classmates, playing Apples to Apples with a group of strangers in Dupont Hall and watching “Gossip Girl” in the basement of Jefferson Hall.
“I campaigned pretty hard,” Alpert said. “Me and my roommate went out every night to different dorms … I went around and met people. It was a lot of fun. It got me running around. It got me out of Gooch Hall.”
Alpert ran on a platform advocating online extended orientation and parking spots for freshmen. He also wants to help in the effort to strengthen the College’s relation with the City of Williamsburg.
“A broader, more longterm goal — and I know there are a lot of organizations already working on this — but I want to help repeal Williamsburgs three-person rule,” he said.
Morgan Dyson ’13 took the vice president of advocacy for the class of 2013 seat with 44 percent of the vote. She decided to run to make a real impact at the College of William and Mary.
“I wanted to get involved with the students,” Dyson said. “I wanted to be the president’s right hand man.”
Lemondre Watson ’13 said he was excited to win the vice president of social affairs for the class of 2013 because he felt the position fits his personality. He was elected with 35 percent of the vote.
“At the [SA] interest meeting, when [Rojas] described the position, I felt like this is what I do,” Watson said.
“This position is my personality — uniting people and bringing people together. If you need someone to lean on who better than classmates.”
Treasurer Hobbs Crocket ’13 won with 67 percent of the vote, and 2013 Secretary Tess DeAtley ’13 won with 53 percent of the vote.
Kim Green ’13, Curt Mills ’13, Justin Duke ’13 and Noah Kim ’13 won the four open senate seats for the class of 2013.
“I have kind of a big goal,” Green said. “I am from South Carolina, and we have never had a female senator. I want to be the first female senator. So, I said, ‘why not now in college since we have a senate?’ And I ran, and I won.”
In addition to the nine freshmen SA positions, three upperclassmen officers were elected as well. Topher Fong ’12 beat out two other contenders for the vice presidency for social affairs for the class of 2012.
“I think, actually, the events we had last year were good,” Fong said. “But I think there is room for improvement. I think that if you are Greek you do Greek things and that if you are not Greek you do not Greek things. I want to bring people together.”
Fong couldn’t describe anything specific.
“I have a few ideas,” he said. “I just need to get familiar with the SA and how everything works first.”
Erin Mee ’11 won the Vice President for Advocacy for the class of 2011, and Miereille Sharp ’10 ran
unopposed for the 2010 Secretary position. Neither were available for comment.
The Honor Council Nominating Referendum was approved. 69 percent of voters believed the Honor Council
Nominating Committee should have to reach a unanimous decision on whether or not to allow a student to run for honor council, while 31 percent believed that a unanimous vote was not necessary.
The SA passed a bill to place the referendum on the SA ballot during Tuesday’s SA meeting.
SA Vice President Ryan Ruzic J.D. ’11 said he was pleased with the election.
“The voter turnout was a little higher than we expected,” Ruzic said. “It wasn’t record breaking, but I think that when you have a lot of really qualified people running like we did that more people will vote. And we ended up with a lot of really qualified people.”
Despite the high turnout, an early morning crash in to the College’s e-mail servers prevented a number of students from receiving voting information.
The glitch occurred around 4 a.m. Thursday morning, shortly after e-mails containing eBallot userID and password information for Thursday’s election were sent out to all undergraduate students, according to SA Elections Commissioner Ben Brown ’11.
Brown was alerted around 8:30 a.m. that some students had not received e-mails with voting information, and he placed a call to eBallot support and IT.
All students had been sent and received the e-mail by 11:30 a.m.
“Our William and Mary servers had a service outage apparently and blocked several of the e-mails — some people got them and could vote, others couldn’t,” Brown said via e-mail Thursday afternoon. “Everything seems to be going according to plan now that we’ve resent all e-mails.”
Despite some students receiving more than one e-mail containing voting information, Brown said that individual passwords remained the same and students were only able to cast one ballot.
The SA Elections Commission decided to extend voting hours to make up for the early delay.
“We tend to see a majority of students vote during the first few hours of an election,” Brown said Thursday afternoon. “So the election should still progress without problems from here on out.”
The polls opened at 8 a.m., and ultimately were scheduled to close at 8 p.m. but remained open until 10 p.m. to compensate for the crash.
This is the first year the SA has used eBallot, an online voting service, for an election. The SIN network, which has been used for SA elections and referendum votes in recent years, is currently down until February.
The SA’s newest members will be sworn in Tuesday, Oct. 5 in the Wren Chapel.
_Miles Hilder contributed to this article._