Katherine Shen literally jumped for joy when she heard she had been elected to College Council (CC) as a Class of 2017 representative last night.
“I’m super stoked,” Shen said. “I definitely wasn’t expecting it, so it’s really nice.”
In addition to Shen, who led the race with 178 votes, the three other winning first-year candidates were Bruce Chi with 164 votes, Saachi Gupta, with 157 votes, and Leeho Lim with 130 votes. Twelve candidates ran this year, one fewer than last year and eight fewer than the record-high 20 candidates of two years ago.
Despite the smaller candidate pool, however, this year’s CC race was much more competitive than last year’s election, considering how close the vote totals were, according to second-year CC representative Mike Viola.
The other candidates, listed in order of vote count, were Michael Weller, Kelton Anderson, Blaine Crawford, Joe Witt, Sebastian Perez, Ala Tineh, Gautam Kaul, and Luke Morell. Only eight votes separated Weller, the fifth-place candidate, from Lim, while the margin between Perez and Weller was only 10 votes.
“The vote distribution was pretty even in this election, which to me hopefully reflects more active efforts on the parts of the candidates than it did last year,” Viola said.
All four representatives intend to remain just as active over the course of the year, stepping into their new roles with diverse hopes and goals.
“I’m really excited to represent the Class of 2017,” Gupta said. “I feel like it’s going to be a great year because my class seems really dynamic and enthusiastic about this school.”
“You should go into a position with a recognition of your own limitations, but I think I’m perfectly open to anything that might come up later in the year,” Shen said.
In particular, she said she hopes to push for reducing dormitory laundry costs and implementing mentorship programs between first-years and upperclassmen.
Lim, who is a member of the dance group PhiNix, was also elected to the Logan Center Advisory Board last night. Through both of his new roles, he hopes to broaden the presence of arts programs on campus.
“Dancing is a huge passion of mine, and I really want to see a lot of UChicago’s arts programs take flight over my time as a student rep, so I’ll be doing what I can to support them,” Lim said.
As for Chi, he hopes to increase the variety of social offerings and activities aimed toward the inter-house community. Beyond that, he plans to wait and see what possibilities will present themselves as the year progresses.
“I’m really optimistic about this year because we have four really good candidates,” Chi said.