Election: Thomas and Stopka new MUSG executives

The new term begins April 1. Thomas and Stopka will preside over their first Senate meeting on April 2.

Thomas, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Stopka, a junior in the College of Business Administration, defeated competitors John Kristan and Shazia Ali, both juniors in the College of Arts & Sciences.,”Henry Thomas and Stephanie Stopka were elected the new president and executive vice president of Marquette Student Government on March 25.

The new term begins April 1. Thomas and Stopka will preside over their first Senate meeting on April 2.

Thomas, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Stopka, a junior in the College of Business Administration, defeated competitors John Kristan and Shazia Ali, both juniors in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Thomas and Stopka had 56.5 percent of the vote, while Kristan and Ali had 43.5 percent.

A total of 2,515 students voted, which represented 35 percent of all eligible voters, MUSG Elections Coordinator Liz Driscoll said.

Megan Janni, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, was elected Residence Hall Association President.

The referendum question on the ballot asking whether or not the university should expand the role of the Office of the Ombuds to provide a confidential outlet for students' concerns, passed with 82.4 percent of the vote.

Additionally, three finalists for senior speaker were chosen. They are Jean Baumgardner from the College of Health Sciences, Patrick Lehman from the College of Engineering and Mary Kate Wagner from the College of Arts & Sciences.

Voters also selected MUSG academic senators for the next term. Residential senators are elected in the fall.

One student elected was senior Abe Matthew, who ran as a write-in candidate for senator from the College of Arts & Sciences. He received 4.3 percent of the votes.

There were three available seats for Arts & Sciences senator and only three candidates ran, including Matthew.

Matthew was the legislative vice president of MUSG last semester, but was removed by the Senate in December after an off-campus altercation with a Tribune reporter on a weekend. It was reported that Matthew took the reporter's ID card and told him, "Bad things happen when you mess with MUSG."

In an interview, Matthew said, "I feel like when I left MUSG in January there were a lot of things that I wanted to get done that I didn't get done. I realized that I believed I did no wrong."

Matthew said one of his main goals will be ensuring that the budget for next year spends students' money responsibly.

"I'd like to take a good look at the budget," Matthew said. "A lot of people in the organization become complacent with it."

He said MUSG Program Board funding was a specific area he would examine for potential cuts.

Matthew will only be able to attend five meetings before he graduates.

For contest-by-contest breakdowns and vote totals, see the Tribune's complete MUSG election report at HREF="www.marquettetribune.org">www.marquettetribune.org.

HREF="http://media.www.marquettetribune.org/media/storage/paper1130/news/2009/03/26/News/Online.Musg.Elections-3684886.shtml">Click here to see the original story about MUSG election results.