Over 70 percent of both the first year and senior classes voted in Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) Class Council elections—a record turnout for BSG elections. The election also had an unusually large candidate pool, saw the first tie in BSG election history and debuted Blink, a new website used to consolidate student management and cast ballots. 

Vice President for BSG Affairs Reed Fernandez ’17 was not sure what contributed to the large voter turnout. 

“I don’t know if that’s because it’s an election year, or because BSG was kind of like prominent last spring and maybe some seniors wanted to get involved with that, or first years heard about it before they even got here,” Fernandez said.

Voter turnout rose from about 60 percent last year, and more than half of the 54 attendees of the 2017 and 2020 Class Council information sessions ran for office.

Fernandez said Blink worked very well this election.

“I don’t think anyone had any confusion, and there were no technical errors, which there have been in the past,” he said. 

The election results were first released Sunday night. At that time, however, there was a tie for the second position of 2020 class representative to BSG. Nathanael DeMoranville ’20 won the election with 120 votes, and first years Beatrice Cabrera and Leah Matari both received 106 votes.

Fernandez expressed interest in proposing a bylaw amendment to the BSG Assembly this year in order to establish a procedure in the event of a tie. He also said BSG is open to utilizing Blink’s option of ranked choice voting in future elections, which would would decrease the probability of another tie occurring.  

The following seniors were elected: Esther Nunoo as president, Ellie Quenzer as vice president, Samantha Hoegle as treasurer and Spencer Shagoury and Annie Glenn as class representatives to the BSG. The following first-years were elected: Shani Agarwal as president, Salim Salim as vice president, Ben Hopkins as treasurer and DeMoranville and Cabrera as class representatives to BSG.  

Nunoo said she hopes to promote inclusivity and engagement amongst the senior class. Additionally, she hopes to bring the class together through a variety of light-hearted events and activities, such as a senior game of “manhunt” at night.  

“What’s important to me—and one of the reasons that I decided to run—is that no matter what we end up doing, it will be inclusive. So, I don’t want only a certain group showing up to certain things. I want to make sure that everyone feels welcome and once they’re there, they actually want to stay and get to know people,” she said.

Nunoo believes her honesty, enthusiasm and ability to bring people together will help her in her new role. 

Agarwal said she hopes to bring the first year class together through a variety of fun and intellectual programs that celebrate the class’ diversity and increase class involvement in Council decisions. Several of Agarwal’s plans include hosting an autumn carnival, fostering round-table discussions about identity and conducting polls to find other programs that interest the class.

As an international student, Agarwal said she is excited to work with students from diverse backgrounds. 

“One of the things we’ve been told by [President] Clayton Rose is that we’re one of the more diverse classes Bowdoin’s seen in the past couple of years,” she said.  “I’m really excited to bring people together from all these different backgrounds.”