Apr 062005
Authors: Lila Hickey

In 2000, George W. Bush won Florida by 537 votes. On Wednesday night, Courtney Stephens and Jon Muller won CSU by 128.

" It feels excellent. It feels overwhelming," Stephens said after she heard she would be the next Associated Students of CSU president. "I was just trying to keep myself calm, trying to keep myself from breaking down into a nervous wreck."

Stephens and Muller received 2,079 votes. Chris Hutchins and Nicholette Andrews received 1,951, and write-in candidates Nick Paradise and Ryan Dichter received 358. Paradise and Dichter did not attend the results meeting.

The campaign staff members, friends and family who crowded into the ASCSU Senate Chambers shared Stephens' feelings.

"I was nervous, and worried, and I guess numb, too," said Erik Healey, Stephens' husband and campaign manager. "I am very relieved."

But for Andrews, vice presidential candidate for the Hutchins/Andrews ticket, there was no such flurry of emotion.

"I wasn't nervous at all," she said after the results were announced. "It kind of got tedious during the (senate) meeting because people kept making announcements that nobody really cared about."

Hutchins and Andrews responded by hugging each other and gracefully accepting the condolences of their friends and supporters.

"It makes me a stronger person for not having won," Andrews said.

And her father, Doug Andrews, is proud of his daughter, regardless of the election results. He even decided to travel all the way from Chicago to be with his daughter Wednesday night when the results were read.

"I thought it was kind of cool that they ran for the office," he said. "I came out to celebrate victory or consol defeat."

But his daughter might not need consoling: She is already planning her future, and it no longer includes her position as an assistant director for RamRide, CSU's safe-ride program.

"I won't work for them," she said of the Stephens/Muller campaign.

Andrews is one of several students involved with RamRide who disagrees with the president-elect's plans for the program, such as priority rides for RamRide volunteers.

Jesse Lauchner, former ASCSU president (2003-2004) and one of RamRide's founders, attended for nostalgic reasons. He was upset by Stephens and Muller's platform.

"I have a fundamental disagreement with some of their plans for RamRide," he said. "At least on the surface, with (priority rides), but I hope to meet up with them really soon and make sure that everyone's on the same page."

Stephens said she hoped to speak with Lauchner, as well as anyone else involved with RamRide.

"Anybody and everybody we can contact, we're going to contact," she said.

Hardouin announced that 21.4 percent of the student body – roughly 4,500 people – voted. A referendum asking students to ratify ASCSU's Constitution passed with just over 75 percent of total votes.

The other referendum – to push for less harsh university punishments for marijuana – passed with 56.2 percent of total votes.

NOTES: Elections Manager Brian Hardouin announced the presidential/vice presidential results after listing the senatorial results. ASCSU President Katie Clausen honored the nine-member Elections Committee for its work during the campaign period and presented Hardouin with a pocket watch for his dedication as elections manager and in his other efforts at ASCSU.

Hardouin officially dissolved the Elections Committee Wednesday night. Any election appeals must be filed with ASCSU's Supreme Court.

Elections Committee member Courtney Cage, who is graduating in May, said she was pleased to see the committee dissolved.

"(It feels) excellent," she said. "Sad, too, for me, because it marks the culmination of four years and a lot of things I love."

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