Student Government

Gawronski, Dvorak win SGA election, taking 37 percent of 2,046 votes

Macomb junior Justin Gawronski and Alma junior Anna Dvorak address Student Government Association members on Tuesday night in the Charles V. Park Memorial Library Strosacker Room for the a introduction of each of the five President/Vice President tickets. (Bethany Walter/Staff Photographer)

Macomb junior Justin Gawronski was elected to be the next president of the Student Government Association with 37 percent of 2,046 votes, with Alma junior Anna Dvorak as his vice president.

Gawronski and Dvorak received 775 votes in the election, defeating the second place ticket, Romeo senior Kevin Richmond and his vice presidential candidate Andover senior Scott Cooke, who received 22 percent, with 447 votes.

Three other tickets also ran. Hesperia senior Killian Richeson and Schoolcraft sophomore Shane McGoff received 20 percent, 398 votes. Warren senior Connor Gallagher and Carleton junior Andrew Clark came in fourth with 13 percent, 265 votes. Sparta junior Spencer McKellar and Fenton sophomore Sean Rositano received last place at 9 percent, with 181 votes.

Although Gawronski indicated he was poised to incorporate many small changes to make the SGA efficient, he said his initial focus would be to transition the SGA from one administration to another.

“I want to really make the transition as smooth as possible,” Gawronski said. “I want business as usual. I want committees to keep doing what they are doing. I want the legislative bodies to keep working on what they have been doing. I want to keep the SGA effective in this transition.”

Current SGA President, Vincent Cavataio, a Shelby Township senior, said he thought Gawronski and Dvorak were a great choice by the student body and have the tools necessary to effectively run the SGA.

“Justin and Anna come from diverse backgrounds, and they are heavily involved with the university,” Cavataio said. “They know how the SGA works, how the college’s administration works and most importantly, how the students work.”

Cavataio said the new administration faced many issues coming into the new position.

“They’ll need to continue to focus on moving all the major signings and audits to an online format,” Cavataio said. “They’ll also need to focus on the sustainability committee and continue to bring that committee into fruition.”

The 2,046 students who voted in the election represented one of the largest voter turnouts in SGA history, 1554 more students than the 542 who voted in last year’s election, which was only 242 votes more than the minimum for the election to count.

SGA Elections Director Christopher Armelagos, a Milford graduate student, said part of the reason for the heavily increased voter turnout was the decision to switch the voting platform from the more complicated social platform Orgsync back to https://vote.cmich.edu, which allowed students vote easily.

Armelagos said the election is an indication of increased SGA relevance.

“Last year we had a little over 500 people vote in the election; this year we quadrupled that number,” Armelagos said. “I think that qualifies as shocking and really indicates increased student interest in the SGA.”

Armelagos also said the race itself indicated increased participation in the SGA.

“The election went great,” Armelagos said. “We never had this many senators run; we have never had as many treasurers run before.”

Richmond said he was disappointed by the students’ decision.

“By electing Justin and Anna, who are so closely interconnected with the inner workings of the SGA, the students are returning to the status quo, which has excluded several groups from the SGA,” Richmond said. “Our ticket was the ticket that brought up relevance, and the rest of the platforms followed. Those platforms, including Justin and Anna, are not prepared to make SGA truly relevant to campus.”

The presidency was not the only position at stake during the election. Tony Grettenberger, a Lansing senior, won the treasurer’s position with 41 percent of the vote, and all 16 senator seats were uncontested.

The new SGA president will be formally announced at 5 p.m. Monday in the Lake St. Clair Room of the Bovee University Center, with the presidential inauguration being held immediately after.

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited for accuracy. 

20 Comments

  1. Wow, Richmond seems bitter. I haven’t seen that since David Squires. Glad he lost!

  2. fabianostudent says:

    Haha, I think it’s funny that the guy who didn’t show up to debates got more votes than the Senate leader.  

  3. The comment stating that this election being more successful than past elections is outrageous. It’s true that we quadrupled the votes from last year, but last years dip was because of the move to orgsync. Looking back years before that, it hasn’t changed at all. In 2010, there were 2,121 votes casted, in 2009, 2,081 votes, and in 2008, 1,722 votes. The claims that we did well with voting is ignorant, and CM life should know better than to post such outrageous claims. Armelagos is uninformed if he thinks this election did well. With 5 presidential tickets, and more senators than ever before, as Armelagos said, our voting should have been at least 3,000, probably more.

    Also, there are more than 16 senator seats available, so it is damn near impossible for these to be contested! Writing things like this shows that CM-Life did little to no fact checking and clearly doesn’t understand how SGA works. 

    As a final note, the percentage totals add up to be 101%, which realistically, could be a simple rounding error. However, the total number of votes doesn’t add up either. Adding each candidates votes up gets you a total of 2,066, which differs from the number of total votes claimed, which was 2,046. 

    Sources: http://www.cm-life.com/2011/04/07/breaking-cavataio-and-english-win-sga-presidential-election/

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/85873137/Current-Bylaws-2011-1

  4. Concerned Citizen says:

    Richmond and Cooke really should have won. They would have gotten more of the campus in involved. The voices will now be forever lost. RIP Richmond/Cooke

  5. Vincent P. Cavataio says:

    Congratulations to Justin and Anna, you will both do great work.

    VC

  6. Calkins Hall Resident says:

    In response to Concerned Citizen, Kevin Richmond and Scott Cooke couldn’t have done more outlandish things to get their names out there. From their flash mob, to their gigantic snowman, and their failed attempt at a town hall. If that was their plan to, “get campus more involved” I’m happy he didn’t win, it obviously didn’t work in the voters eyes either.

    In regards to Richmond’s reaction on the results, he should have just called his campaign Cavataio 2.0, he hijacked an almost identical platform.

    Personally I didn’t see the SGA going anywhere with him and his administration, their antics did not scream professionalism whatsoever or a concern for students. They would have brought the SGA back 20 steps after Cavataio spent a lot of time getting it to where it is today.

    It will be interesting to see how this new administration plays out. I would have liked to see Dvorak on the Presidential ticket, maybe next year?

    I believe this election would have been a lot different if Dvorak and Richeson ran together; that would have been the strongest ticket, hands down.

    Congratulations to Justin and Anna, your ticket along with Richeson and McGoff’s were the only ones qualified.

    • Anonymous2 says:

      Dvorak and Richeson?  Are you aware that Richeson has resigned from an elected position within SGA twice, leaving SGA high and dry, and has literally achieved nothing for this campus in the name of SGA?  I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you were not aware.

  7. dont know Justin and Anna personally, but this win seems like a legit thing for CMU..

  8. Cmuplay2013 says:

    Yes, let’s sing the praises of Mr. Cavataio.  The same unprofessional git who threatened people with bodily harm (in a professional, University setting) if he didn’t get his way.  Can’t threaten to push people down the stairs in the real world, Mr. Cavataio. It can’t be swept under the rug so easily post-college. 

    As if CMU needs more black eyes. though I guess UCom is used to giving out black eyes for this University.  No reason to not CREATE an internship for Cavataio, he’s a bird of their same feather, much like the entirely incompetent Renee Walker.  Stonewall as long as possible, and then be appalled when people actually oppose them.

  9. CMU Student says:

    I’m sure if you were in his position, and your mom was in critical care and dying, you would’ve left the position too.

  10. Larzy Hall Student says:

    For “Calkins Hall Resident”: I know you seem to think that Richmond/Cooke did outlandish things to get their names out there, but sometimes that is what it takes. This campus has fallen deep into the hold of apathy, and outlandish events are the only things that may awaken them. While I understand that Richmond/Cooke did not win, they did accumulate the second highest amount of votes. Higher than 2 other experienced SGA members. Clearly SGA experience and apparent “qualifications” were not the only things people were voting for. A flash mob and a giant snowman are more able to reach out to the average student and grab their attention over a measly flyer that simply tells them to vote and blends into the mediocrity that it represents. 

    I congratulate Justin and Anna on their victory, I think they made some pretty big promises and it will be interesting to see whether they truly represent the people or if they will fall into the same rut that many other leaders have. However, there is no reason to discredit the efforts that Richmond/Cooke put into this campaign. After all, they got more votes than Cavataio did to WIN the election last year. While this may be attributed to orgsync, it is mostly attributed to voter apathy. If students truly cared about voting, they would have found a way to do it. The increased voting this year shows that more people knew the election was taking place, and Richmond/Cooke definitely played a part in spreading awareness.

    Say what you will about their unorthodox methods. Sometimes, a positive change needs to come from outside the organization, not within. How can something be fixed if the person in charge is too clouded to see it is broken in the first place? Look forward to another year of the same irrelevant and unknown SGA. 

  11. The real Calkins Hall Rep :) says:

    To the Calkins Hall Resident, Richmond/Cooke was probably the best choice for SGA and  all of the student just missed on a great opportunity.

    To your response about their “outlandish” and unprofessional activities, sure, some were not professional, but they were more personal then ever. This campaign brought out students who would have never cared about SGA or even turned a head towards any kind of RSO or student government club. Kevin and Scott reached out to a diverse groups of students and they all had a great time while bringing awareness to our student body, and made them care about how are they represented. There activities raised awareness and passion was increased about controversies around campus and had impacted their opinions, I think that is very important. 

    If you did not experience what they brought to the table, then I suggest you keep your thoughts to yourself. Without considering, I’m guessing, you didn’t even give them any thought or seriously consider their views and concern for our campus. 

    In conclusion, Kevin Richmond and Scott Cooke you rock my socks off. Don’t change because then relevancy will remain the same. :)

  12. Should of voted Richmond/Cooke. YOLO. 

  13. If Richmond and Cooke brought out students that didn’t care about SGA then why didn’t they win? With 775 votes almost double that of Richmond and Cooke Justin and Anna deserved to win. Kevin and Scott actually never reached out to any RSO’s besides Hall Councils it was call us to schedule an appointment while other groups actually reached out to the RSO’s to schedule a time. Kevin and Scott made DVD’s which made it seem less personal. They might be kind in person but during this election you never got that feel, it was more of not seeing them and watching them on a DVD or in a video. Even Connor went door to door and meet with RSO’s and Richmond didn’t. Richmond and Cooke stole the past administration under Vince’s campaign slogan and platform.

    If Kevin and Scott were the right people to bring SGA back to relevance then why did they not show up to SGA yesterday night? Obviously they don’t want to make SGA better as an organization if they don’t lead it. Every other ticket has been involved and has stayed involved as shown by last night (besides McKeller which was gone due to personal reasons).

    The only socks that were rocked were some of the people on North Campus. His table tent was creepy and Scott sounds like the crippled kid on South Park. Sorry but the Students got it right!

  14. Calkins Hall Resident says:

    For the record I went to all of there events, watched their DVD and lost brain cells. I cannot get back the time I lost going to the town hall, watching them dance, or gawking at the obscene snowman.

  15. Blasters17 says:

    @Calkins “resident”

    Your lack of brain cells is showing here-I’m thinking that this was an issue long before Richmond/Cooke were even thought of. 6/10 for getting me to reply,
    Troll.

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