Marino, Johnson win election

Tension was high in the ASPSU office Friday evening, as the candidates for president and vice president waited for the election results to be announced.

Cheers for the winners broke out, when an elections committee member announced Amara Marino and Joe Johnson had been elected as the student body president and vice president, respectively, for the 2003-04 year.

Marino and Johnson were both excited with the results and both expressed relief the stressful elections’ period was over.

“I just want to take a big, deep breath,” Marino said.

Looking ahead to next year, Marino and Johnson want to focus on getting things done on time, following through with the recently approved black studies major, solidifying the ASPSU constitution and meeting their various campaign goals.

These goals include expanding on-campus diversity and pursuing the idea of disabilities studies.

Marino also expressed a desire to make the transition from the current administration to her own as smooth as possible.

Current student body president Kristin Wallace promises to help out in this arena.

“I want to set them up to succeed,” Wallace said. “This is going to be the ride of their lives.”


In the immediate future, Marino and Johnson are looking to hire their executive staff.

Marino and Johnson are both confident about their ability to perform their duties in the next year, even in light of inherent problems within and between the various branches of the student government this last year.

“We have our differences,” Johnson said, “but I don’t foresee any problems.”

He and Marino have known each other for three years and have worked together in various capacities in ASPSU and with College Housing Northwest in the last two years.

“I’ve worked with him (Johnson) for such a long time,” Marino said. “I think that gives us a really good edge.”

Marino also expressed admiration and thanks to the other presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Ammar Shihab and Sarah Campbell were reasonably disappointed with the outcome, but Shihab does not view this as a failure.

“We didn’t lose,” he said. “We got students to vote!”

Campbell is considering applying for a position of the executive staff or possibly the student senate.

Michael-Sean Kelly, presidential candidate, said he conceded victory to Marino Friday morning.

Kelly’s running mate, Rebbeca Pierce, was not present when the election results were announced, but Kelly spoke to her over the phone.

“I told her we did a good job and worked hard,” he said.

He also encouraged her to participate in ASPSU next year.

“She will be invaluable, in my opinion, on the senate,” Kelly said. “The senate needs experience next year.”

Kelly said he will also encourage her to apply for the position of pro-tempore.

Kelly plans to continue working with ASPSU, and is applying to continue working with the Evaluation and Constitutional Review Committee and for the University Affairs director position on the executive staff.

Kelly thanked those who voted for him, and extended his congratulations to Marino and Johnson.

Wallace gave some words of advice for Marino and Johnson.

“Do your best and know why you started and why you ran, and don’t forget that.”