Awa Nur elected president in tight race..


Halkaan ka akhri

Awa Nur The first  female President of Duke Student Gov. for the 2009-2010.  

Junior Awa Nur was elected president of Duke Student Government for the 2009-2010 academic year in a close race Tuesday.

Nur-the first female president in a decade and only the second Black female president in DSG’s history-won 35.1 percent of the 2,700 ballots cast in the presidential race.

“It’s a really exciting time I think,” Nur said. “I’m ready to get back and start working.”

Junior Chelsea Goldstein, current vice president for academic affairs, took second in the election with 27.7 percent of the votes. Sophomore Mike Lefevre, this year’s vice president for athletics and campus services, and junior Kousha Navidar, current director of student services, took third and fourth in the race, respectively.

Sophomore Gregory Morrison will be next year’s executive vice president. Junior Cynthia Chen, freshman Pete Schork, sophomore Will Passo and junior Spencer Eldred were elected vice presidents for academic affairs, athletics and campus services, Durham and regional affairs and student affairs, respectively. Sophomore Andrew Brown ran uncontested to be vice president for the Inter-Community Council.

Voter turnout decreased from 40.5 percent last year to 38 percent this year, said DSG Attorney General Meg Foran, a junior.

As next year’s president, Nur said her primary goal is to uphold the platform of inclusiveness that she ran on.

“I plan to sit down with a bunch of people,” she said. “I was absolutely serious about my platform. I think the next step is to bring voices to the table…. The team will be the most able, available and capable people. Anybody at Duke is invited to apply-any role in my cabinet is open.”

Nur added that she was proud to run against other talented candidates-whose input she will be seeking-and said she was thankful for her friends who campaigned for her.

“Awa was my chief of staff this year and she’s done an amazing job,” said DSG President Jordan Giordano, a senior. “I think she will be a great new face for DSG next year…. Her abilities to work with other people, especially the executive board, will shine next year.”

Foran said the election process ran smoothly, and that there were no major problems. She noted that the only time-consuming piece of the process was doing instant run-offs for the offices in which there were more than two candidates-the presidential race and the student affairs race.

Foran added that despite the close presidential election, Nur won in both the primary and run-off tabulations.

“It ran really smoothly…. I think that everyone is really pleased with how things went and I think it was a very successful round of elections,” she said.

Giordano also said he was happy with election process.

“It’s really nice that we finally have election software that we can continuously use and can rely on,” he said.

This year, candidates also were allowed to do certain types of campaigning on election day, which some candidates took advantage of in the form of blast e-mails.

“[Sending the e-mails] would be the same as if they went and stood on the stage on the Plaza and said, ‘Vote for me today,'” Foran said. “They can say anything they want on election day, they just can’t be physically handing out the ballots.”

In light of the new campaign rules, candidates made use of the extra time to win potential voters.

Along with DSG executive board elections, students were able to vote whether to approve of a revised edition of the DSG Constitution that modifies wording and reflects current DSG practices. The referendum passed, Foran said.

Source: The Chronicle Online

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