After weeks of vigorous campaigning, Rachel Williams was elected as new ASUNM president, while Jenna Hagengruber was elected vice president as the "Connect" platform won the most seats in the 2014 ASUNM election.
There were three student slates that ran for various offices: Connect ASUNM, Team You 2014 and Forward UNM. The election brought students to the booth in droves as the campaign saw a five-year high turnout of 2303 students, hammering last year’s number of 1521.
Connect won the most seats, with Williams winning the presidency and Jenna Hagengruber, the vice-presidency, as well as six of the 10 senate seats. Team You won three seats and Forward UNM won two. The new senators are: Kyle Stepp, Alex Cervantes, Abi Ritz, Kyle Biederwolf, Katherine Luce, Travis Gonzales, Nadi Cabrera, Tori Pryor, Gabriella Eldridge, Moises Ibarra.
Williams plans to accomplish a lot during her time as president which officially begins May 16. She said that one of her biggest goals is to increase the transparency of her office, and ‘connect’ her ASUNM administration to the students in a more meaningful way.
When asked about her thoughts on winning Williams said, “I am ecstatic to have been selected the next ASUNM president, made even more meaningful in this 125th year anniversary of UNM.“
The elections are an extensive process for everyone involved. The Elections Commission does most of the leg work, which includes informing candidates of campaign rules and regulations, in addition to all necessary logistics. Elections Commission Director Malika Ladha said that the commission also took an additional role of student outreach to bring more people to the polls this year.
“I strongly believe that it is not only the candidates’ responsibility to bring in votes, but some of that responsibility falls to my office as well,” Ladha said. “With great candidates, a great social media presence and the involvement of ASUNM, we were able to break records in voter turnout. Needless to say, I am incredibly pleased.”
Ladha went on to talk about the importance of ASUNM elections, and the need for a stronger student voice in elections. She said that there is a long road ahead for the commission to engage the entire undergraduate student body in the election, but that steps are being taken in the right direction.