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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


HOUSE party dominates USG elections

USG President Elect Justas Klimavicius (right) of the HOUSE Party speaking at the USG elections debate on Tuesday, March 20. The HOUSE Party candidates won nearly every position in the election. LUIS RUIZ DOMINGUEZ/THE STATESMAN

This article has been updated to reflect the most recent election results.

In a landslide victory, every single member of the HOUSE Party was elected in the Undergraduate Student Government elections.

Justas Klimavicius, a business and political science double major, won the USG presidency with 70 percent of the vote (864 votes) and Ian Ouyoung, a sophomore business and economics double major, received 71 percent of the votes (832 votes) for Vice President of Communications. Klimavicus won the candidacy with 23 percent more of the vote than current USG President Ayyan Zubair received last year, but he received 682 fewer votes than Zubair. The Election Board has not responded to inquiries about the number of unique voters in this year’s elections.

Abdelrahman Salama, a junior political science major, will be Executive Vice President; Adrian Ortega, a sophomore computer engineering major, will be the new treasurer; Kojo Danso, a junior health science major, will take on the role of Vice President of Student Life and Nicole Olakkengil, a junior biology and business management major, will remain in her position as Vice President of Academic Affairs. All four candidates ran uncontested on the HOUSE party slate. Samantha Rodriguez, a junior political science major, was elected Vice President of Clubs & Organizations in the run-off elections last week. The party also won 16 of the 19 Senate seats that were up for grabs.

The HOUSE Party, which stands for Helping Others Uncover Student Excellence, was the only formal party in this year’s USG elections, something current VP of Student Life Jaliel Amador said he has not seen in the past two years he has been a part of the organization.

Amador said the party’s domination may be a good thing for USG.

“If the [Executive Council] truly understands their senate, and one another, they will work together as such,” Amador, a senior business major, said. “Understanding someone’s weaknesses, strengths, and goals are by far the most any team building exercises can accomplish. Unfortunately, I cannot predict the future. However, using what I’ve been through for two years, and learned in my academic career, I foresee a well-oiled machine.”

The party’s control over the Senate may hinder the discourse Salama says is needed to make USG work.

“Having an entire party which has the same mindset, this could be good in terms of its easy to work with… but who is going to come up with a new idea?” Salama said. “My role in overcoming this is letting [the senators know] ‘you are no longer in the HOUSE party, you are a senator for Stony Brook, for the student body.'”

USG posted the elections results on its Facebook page as it has done in the past, but unlike previous years, it did not initially disclose the exact number of votes each elected person received, instead just providing the percentage. After the run-off elections, the vote counts were posted on USG’s Facebook page. The USG Elections Board has not responded to inquiries about why the vote count was not initially publicly disclosed.

Check back later this week for an exclusive interview with the newly-elected Executive Council.

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