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CSA election sees record voter turnout

With 68.5 percent of the student body voting, winter term’s CSA elections had an unprecedented turnout, according to current CSA President Tiffany Thet ’17.

Thet attributed the high turnout to CSA’s get-out-the-vote efforts and to the political atmosphere on campus after the 2016 presidential election.
The new CSA President, Walter Paul ’18, was elected in a landslide, winning 77 percent of the vote in his election against Matt Thibodeau ’18, a Student-at-Large on the Budget Committee.

Thet has high hopes for the incoming CSA Senate. “If Walter can be a better president than I am, then I know that I’ve done my job correctly,” she said.

Paul currently serves as the CSA College Council liaison. In his platform, he specified many ways in which he hopes to expand CSA’s involvement with the campus. His goals range from educating clubs about CSA to making CSA more active in and accountable to the campus community.

In a recent interview, Paul emphasized his hopes to increase administration accountability by holding town halls where students can talk to people like the new Title IX coordinator. “The more the administration faces the questions of students, the more it faces the experiences of students,” he said.

Similarly, he said he wants to “let students have a voice” by putting student representatives on the Carleton Board of Trustees, which is currently reserved for alumni.

In the coming year, Paul hopes to address transparency. He worries that CSA is not clear about its process and wants it to be more thoughtful about how it presents information to students. “CSA has to adapt to Carleton life,” he said. “We have to understand that students just don’t have time to read our bylaws.”

Paul made it clear that supporting marginalized groups on campus is his priority. His platform included a proposed salary for CSA president and vice president, to take effect after his term ends in winter 2018. He explained that paying students for their work on CSA would make the position more available to low-income students that otherwise would not be able to participate. “I want to let the student body know that you’re supposed to be involved in the CSA,” he said.

Vice President Seth Harris ’18 won his hotly contested race by only 13 votes, narrowly beating Daniel Tamez ’19. Currently, Harris serves on CSA as a Student-at-Large on the Student Projects Committee and has been involved in CSA since his freshman year.

“I ran for vice president because I wanted to be in a position to make a difference in the Carleton community,” Harris said.
During his term as vice president, Harris plans to make Budget Committee run smoothly by making the process clearer and more accessible to students.

“I want to remove the stumbling blocks for students, so they don’t arrive unprepared to a budget committee meeting where twelve people are staring down a table at them,” he said.

Harris, like Paul, would like to increase diversity in CSA. One way he hopes to do this is by adding a few student positions to CSA.

“Having voices from every part of campus makes more student voices heard,” he said. “The more voices we have heard the more we can represent students well.”

The new CSA Treasurer is Jen Chan ’19, who is the current Senate Sports and PEAR Liaison. She won 57 percent of the vote in her election against current Class of 2018 Representative Lillie Schneyer ’18.

Chan said she ran for Treasurer as a sophomore because “I wanted to have the ability to facilitate my ideas.” In her platform, she outlined ten goals for the term, including increasing transparency in the CSA budget process and allocating more money to Spring Concert.
Her main goal is to be as accessible and approachable as possible. “Who even is the current Treasurer?” she asks in her platform. “I’ll make sure you know of me and what my position does if I’m elected Treasurer.”

The only competitive election for class representative was for the Class of 2020. Of the three candidates who ran, John Mullan ’20 and Natalie Sainz ’20 won CSA senate positions.

Until Sunday, CSA is accepting applications for a variety of senate liaison positions, including Intercampus Student Liaison and Sports and PEAR Liaison.

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