Monday’s DCGA presidential runoff ended dramatically last night as Sara Shore ‘17 became the 2016-2017 DCGA president. 

Two additional votes for Brian Allen ‘17 would have ended this year’s DCGA presidential election as scheduled on Thursday. His 33.15 percent share of the vote, however, did not reach the 33.3 minimum percent necessary to secure the presidency per DCGA bylaws. 

The organization’s constitution stipulates that in the event a candidate does not reach 33.3 percent, a runoff between the two candidates with the most votes must be held.  The runoff, which occurred yesterday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., resulted in a victory for Sara Shore ‘17 (56%)  over Brian Allen ‘17 (44%).  Of the 573 students who voted in the election on Thursday, only 445 voted yesterday in the race between Allen and Shore.

The debate on Tuesday, April 19 helped many members of the community decide on their candidate.

Each of the four candidates: Allen, Shore, Juan Bernabe ‘17 and Sarah Hoffman ‘17 emphasized the importance of promoting mental wellness on campus in the debate, an issue that has taken on weight following the suicide of Wendell Jackson ‘17 last semester.

Plans to improve mental wellness were not rolled out with much specificity, but Bernabe argued that the staff at Whistler should be more diverse. Many members of the Denison community may feel uncomfortable talking to staff who might not understand the experiences of the student.

In addition, all agreed that the Denison community needed to come closer together and to use DCGA as its vessel for change on campus.  Ideas to gain DCGA more attention ranged from Bernabe’s suggestion to require senators’ office hours to be held in public spaces to Allen’s plan to move the weekly meetings back to Higley Hall’s more welcoming auditorium space. 

Confident debate performances from every candidate divided the constituency evenly enough to force the runoff.

Prior to the presidential debate on April 19, the two vice presidential candidates, Sarah Anstaett ‘18 and Michael Angelo ‘19 clashed in The Nest to start off the night.  Anstaett highlighted her experience as an RA and on the DCGA Finance Committee, while Angelo promised to change the perception of the organization as a body that is misrepresentative of its constituency.

Anstaett’s articulate and professional performance helped push her to a victory in the race on Thursday. 

The full list of next year’s senators that were elected on Thursday can be found on the DCGA Facebook page.