Estenson, Calbert win election by less than 100 votes

Sam Estenson and Parker Calbert will be the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) president and vice president for the 2012-2013 school year by a margin of less than 100 out of 1454 votes, according to results released by the Student Life office at 4:30 p.m. today.

“I would just reiterate what an incredible week this has been,” said Estenson, who currently serves as off-campus senator,  when his win was announced. “We’ve just experienced so much love –  I don’t have the words to describe it.”

Calbert, his running mate, added how humbling the experience had been, despite the energy of the election.

“We are just so humbled and excited to bring on a great year in 2012-2013. Thanks to Stuart [Portman], Jackson [Stewart], Julia [Godshaw] and Sam [White] for making it an exciting campaign. I’m proud to be a Pioneer.”

Estenson and Calbert’s campaign staff attributed the win to the diversity of personalities on the staff and the candidates’ vision for next year.

“He [Estenson] had a good team around him, full of different personalities and a simple, good platform. We were able to reach diverse voters based on who was on the team,” said Erik Meek, Estenson campaign staff member and sophomore communications and public policy major from Northbrook, Ill.

Estenson confirmed that his staff played a large role in the victory.

“We didn’t have just one campaign manager, we had 20. We had support from every single corner of campus, ” said Estenson.

Both opposing teams expressed their support of Estenson and Calbert for next year.

“I think Sam [Estenson] and Parker will do just great, and I’m excited to see what they’ll do next year,” said Sam White, presidential candidate and current President pro-tempore of USG.

Stuart Portman, the third opposing presidential candidate, added that the campaign process was an amicable one.

“This election has been an eye-opening experience and I’m confident that Sam and Parker will do an amazing job,” said Portman. “They have been really professional and friendly candidates to run against.”

Junior Katherine Snow, new off-campus senator and double major in international studies and communication, commented that it was one of more congenial presidential races she has seen.

“This year’s election is an example of the variety that can take place in a democratic election. There were three very different candidates with a multitude of different positions, and for once, it was very clean,” said Snow.

Carl Johnson, director of Campus Activities in the division of Student Life, commented that despite the differences between candidates, they all seemed “passionate” about the university. 

“Everybody ran a fair race and was respectful and supportive of each other. They all had different opinions and ideas, but they definitely displayed the best of this institution,” said Johnson. “There is still a place for everyone who ran to remain involved – that’s the passion and drive that makes the University of Denver great.”

Johnson confirmed that every ballot was submitted complete for all elected positions listed.

There were 22 students who did not receive the ballot, most likely because they either did not correctly register their email forwarding information from their “du.edu” email address, or because it was sent to their spam folder, according to Johnson.

“However, for every person that emailed me about it [not receiving a ballot], we sent a specific link to them,” said Johnson.

Other positions announced included senators representing either their year, school of study or on- and off-campus status.

Alisa Brown and Hayden Johnson will be serving as sophomore senators next academic year, with Natalie Dunne and J.P. Griego as junior senators. Vanessa Teck and Jackie Foss will be senior senators.

Senior Craig Hirokawa will be School of Social Sciences (SOCs) senator, senior Zack Gonzales will be Arts and Humanities (AHUM) senator, junior Daniel Rosenblum and  freshman Sam Garry will be Daniels College of Business (DCB) senators, sophomore Zach Gart will be Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management (HRTM) senator, freshman Tanner Mastaw will be Josef Korbel School of International Studies (INTS) senator, sophomore Dia Mohamed will be Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) senator, freshman Leo Kaufman will be Performing Arts senator and Emily Wetmore will be School of Engineering and Computer Science senator.

Freshmen Dillon Lynch and Mackenzie Nelson will be on-campus senators and Juniors Jake Muniz and Katherine Snow will be off-campus senators.

Gart and Rosenblum are incumbent to the HRTM and DCB senator positions, respectively. Griego currently serves  as sophomore senator.

Running unopposed were Faust, Teck, Gonzales, Rosenblum, Garry, Gart, Mastaw, Mohamed Muniz, Snow, Wetmore and Hirokawa.

UPDATED, MAY 19:  Name “Hirokama” corrected to Hirokawa, name “Kausfman” corrected to “Kaufman,” paragraph “Despite the close race, Carl Johnson, director of student activities in the division of Student Life, expressed confidence that the race was civil” changed to “Carl Johnson, director of Campus Activities in the division of Student Life, commented that despite the differences between candidates, they all seemed ‘passionate’ about the university” 

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About Author: Manthan Bhatt

Manthan Bhatt is the Managing Editor of the DU clarion. He is currently a senior economics major and his passion lies in social justice, economics and feminism.

As well as being the managing editor of the DU Clarion, Manthan is a fellow at the office of Senator Mike Johnston. He is also the treasurer of Senior Class Council at the University of Denver.

His hobbies include playing hockey, traveling and enjoying good vegetarian food.

Manthan does not lend himself to modesty. When he says that he will change the world, he actually means it. His after college goals revolve around working for the types of organizations that change the world--be it in public policy or economics or lobbying.

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