Eric Evangelista and Joyce LaLonde react to being elected Student Association president, vice president
Riley Bunch | Photo Editor
Eric Evangelista was holding an iPhone on speaker mode. The room in the Euclid Avenue house fell silent. His running mate was sitting next to him with an arm wrapped around Evangelista’s shoulder.
The person on the other end of the line was Tracey Ford, chair of the Student Association’s Board of Elections and Membership. She was notifying Evangelista, one of two candidates for SA president, the result of the election. Ford thanked Evangelista and his running mate, Joyce LaLonde, for running a smooth campaign and trailed off with a “but,” followed by silence. Evangelista started to get worried.
He whispered to me and he’s like, ‘I don’t think we’ve got it, I don’t think we’ve got it.'Joyce LaLonde
Ford kept Evangelista and LaLonde on the edge of their seats for a few seconds with the notion that they did not win, before declaring they were elected president and vice president, respectively, of SA’s 60th Session.
“At that moment, I was like, ‘Oh God, I feel my heart about to jump out my chest,’” Evangelista said in an interview with The Daily Orange. “And she’s saying ‘congratulations’ and then I couldn’t hear anything.”
About 20 of Evangelista’s campaign supporters screamed in joy that reverberated outside the house. Relief and celebration showed on their faces as Katy Perry’s “Roar” blasted.
“We’re thrilled, we’re so happy and so excited,” Evangelista said.
And we feel ready. We are ready to get into it.Joyce LaLonde
The pair garnered 1,934 votes — equivalent to 46.9 percent of the vote — defeating their opponents, Charlie Mastoloni and Jessica Brosofsky.
In total, 4,122 students — or 29 percent of the student body — cast votes in the election. The voter turnout for this election was up about 5 percent from last year’s election.
Evangelista, the SA recorder who is currently the longest-serving member of the organization, said his presidential campaign was a “culmination” of his years being a member of SA. He and LaLonde ran their campaign with a platform titled “CARE,” which stands for “Committed to collaboration, Anti-discriminatory, Ready for reform and Excited for excellence.”
“I’ve worked with a lot of people, as has Joyce. We’ve already have those contacts firmly established,” he said. “We are going to be able to work with them. They are going to be able to get in touch with the people they need to get our initiatives done.”
LaLonde, who has never been involved in SA, described the campaign process as rigorous and tiring, but said it was “worth it” since she could talk to students whom she wanted to listen to and advocate for.
Evangelista said mental health, safety and security and diversity were topics students brought up as issues to he and LaLonde while they were campaigning.
Both Evangelista and Mastoloni’s campaigns had a tumultuous week. A few hours before voting closed on Thursday, Evangelista’s campaign was fined and charged $10 because the campaign manager was spotted at a computer cluster soliciting votes, which is a violation of SA bylaws.
Mastoloni’s former campaign manager Austin Galovski announced his resignation on Wednesday morning after he said in an interview with The Daily Orange that Mastoloni’s campaign agreed to provide a cabinet position to SA presidential candidate Andrew Brendel in exchange for Brendel dropping out of the race and endorsing Mastoloni. SA’s Judicial Review Board sanctioned Mastoloni’s campaign with a 150-vote reduction upon polls closing.
When asked about how he will reach out to Mastoloni’s supporters and unite the undergraduate student body of SU population, Evangelista said his campaign is looking forward to continuing to work with as many student leaders and students as possible.
“We’re very grateful to have the opportunity to meet with so many so far and we’ve just scratched the surface,” Evangelista said. “We’re not done, and we have a lot of work to do.”
Published on April 17, 2016 at 9:17 pm
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