After polls closed for the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) elections last Sunday, the results were almost immediately sent to students via email.
Derek Brooks '12 will serve as BSG president for the 2011-2012 academic year. Brian Kim '13 was elected treasurer, Dani Chediak '13 won the race for vice president of student organizations, and Chase Taylor '12 was successful in his bid to become vice president of facilities.
Three races were uncontested: Allen Wong '14 won the election for vice president of student affairs, incumbent Anirudh Sreekrishnan '12 will again serve as the vice president of BSG affairs, and Jordan Francke '13 was elected as vice president of academic affairs.
Sitting BSG President John Connolly '11 was very satisfied with the elections.
"It was an exciting campaign, and a clean campaign," he said.
"There was a lot of good advertising going on," Connolly also noted, referencing the large banners in Smith Union as well as numerous smaller posters that appeared across campus.
Last year, Connolly ran unopposed in the presidential election. This year, however, Connolly said that "having a contested presidential election [was] definitely helpful in generating interest."
Jack Hilzinger '12, who ran for BSG president against Brooks, agreed.
"I enjoyed that [the race] was two serious candidates," he said.
Voter turnout also reflected the competition of the presidential race.
"Turnout overall was up significantly from last year," Connolly said.
Sophomores had the highest rate of voter turnout, with 267 members of the class casting votes. The high sophomore turnout was unusual because first years generally vote the most. However, only five fewer first years cast ballots in comparison to the Class of 2013. In addition to the first year and sophomore turnout, 236 juniors and 139 seniors voted. A total of 904 students voted in the elections, more than half the student body.
"I voted because it was online—and you don't have to move for that," said Max Staiger '13.
In hope of increasing first year voter turnout, many candidates went door-to-door in the first year residence halls.
"I did really aggressive [campaigning] in freshman dorms and spent a really long time on it," said Brooks. "I also campaigned in [Chamberlain], which I think is mostly sophomore-dominated."
"After coming back from abroad [and not knowing anyone], the only contingent that I was worried about was freshmen," Taylor said of campaigning in dorms. "I printed off some cards, dropped those off at each freshman dorm. The face-name recognition seemed to work for me."
Michael Yang '14, who was unsuccessful in his bid to become vice president of student organizations, also ran an active campaign by knocking on residents' doors and visiting tables at Thorne Hall.
"Most of my impressions [were based] on people who came to my dorm. I automatically focused on them," said Sam Burnim '14.
"I was surprised if [candidates] came to my dorm and didn't get elected," he added.
To some candidates, however, much of the student body appeared to be "apathetic and ignorant" about the race, according to Yang.
"Like any other year, there was a general disconnect between students and BSG," he said.
"Everyone ran [a fair race]," Yang added, "although I did complain about the Orient."
In the Orient last week, the editorial board endorsed Brooks, Alex Takata '12 and Chediak in their respective races. The board did not to endorse a candidate for vice president of facilities.
Multiple candidates were unhappy about the endorsements. It was the first time in Connolly's memory that the editorial board has endorsed candidates for BSG positions other than president.
Citing dissatisfaction with the editorial, Kim declined to be interviewed, though he won the election for treasurer.
"I did hear some complaints about the Orient [editorial]," Connolly said. "It wasn't terrible, but I wish maybe it had kept a more positive tone throughout." Even so, some candidates found the editorial helpful.
"Having the Orient's support was probably a big boost...I'm really appreciative of the support," said Brooks.
Aside from the conflict over the editorial, most candidates found the election process to be fair.
"Jack and I are friends," Brooks said. "I was just really impressed with both of us on how cordial we made it. It wasn't about attacking the other."
Sam Vitello '13 declined comment on the results or the process of the elections.
Though the elections for BSG executive positions ended last Sunday, many candidates, including Hilzinger and Yang, have not given up hope of securing a position, and are currently running for at-large seats on BSG.