Emily- Colin wins MSA

Undergraduate students elected Emily Serafy Cox and Colin Schwensohn as the new leaders of the Minnesota Student Association on Thursday.

“It feels like nothing I have ever felt before,” said Serafy Cox, the MSA president-elect. She and Schwensohn, the MSA vice president-elect, received 37 percent of the vote.

Current MSA Vice President Amy Jo Pierce and Residential Hall Association President Katie White earned second place, with 24 percent of the vote. MSA Forum member Rubens Feroz and Katy Tagudin came in third, at 22 percent.

Students also passed three MSA constitutional amendments, including one that calls for instant runoff voting in MSA presidential elections.

The election announcement caught many campaigns off guard.

All-Campus Elections Commission officials predicted they would need extra time Because of a computer glitch, 63 graduate students voted in the undergraduate election, officials said.

On Thursday afternoon, commission adviser Margaret Cahill said the extra time would be needed for accuracy.

“We’re disappointed (the results) won’t be announced today, but it’s more important that they’re correct,” she said.

But the commission announced the results Thursday night after verifying the results.

All-Campus Elections Commission officials told campaigns to expect the results by 7 p.m. Friday. The move prompted some campaigns to cancel their celebratory plans.

Serafy Cox, whose campaign endorsements include the U-DFL and College Greens, said she learned of her victory while riding her bike to the Spokes Pizza Collective in Minneapolis’ Seward neighborhood.

As results spread, supporters joined Serafy Cox at the collectively run, bicycle-delivery pizza joint.

Serafy Cox said her victory is because of a successful grassroots campaign and an easy-to-understand platform. The challenge now is turning that support into success, she said.

“How are we going to use the same grassroots organizing that got me elected to get students active about the rising cost of their own tuition?” she questioned. “How are we going to get all (1,378) students who voted for me down to the Capitol?”

Feroz and Pierce extended congratulations to the Emily-Colin campaign Thursday night.

Pierce said she is happy with how the campaign went.

“We did an excellent job, we hit the pavement and talked to hundreds of students about the issues,” she said.

Pierce said she plans to stay involved in MSA through the summer to fulfill her co-coordinator duties with the Association of Big Ten Student Conference, and to help with the transfer of leadership.

Feroz said he will stay involved with MSA to push some of his campaign goals forward.

This year, 3,839 students participated in the all-campus elections. That’s approximately 800 fewer than last year, but 400 more than 2003.

“It was a good turnout, but not what we expected,” said elections co-Commissioner Adam Engelman, who said the commission was hoping 5,000 students would vote.