Last night, junior Jacqueline Chen was elected Tufts Community Union (TCU) President for the next academic year, according to the Tufts Elections Commission (ECOM) chair Ethan Mandelbaum, a sophomore. Chen ran against junior Adam Rapfogel, who is currently the TCU Parliamentarian.
The referendum question on the TCU constitution amendment also passed overwhelmingly, allowing all students to call for a university-wide referendum on any TCU Senate resolution with 300 student signatures. Of the 1,257 students who cast ballots, 1,082, or 86.07 percent, backed the amendment, with 116, or 9.22 percent, opposing and 59, or 4.69 percent, abstaining, according to Mandelbaum. Turnout for the referendum represents 23 percent of eligible voters.
“It’s … exciting to see the referendum meet the threshold to pass, because it seems like an overwhelming majority of the student body approves of the change,” Mandelbaum said in an email. “I think that the new policy will increase interest in student government moving forward because students will be able to voice their opinions to the administration with the authority of a student resolution.”
There were 1,614 votes, representing 29.5% of eligible voters, in the presidential election, according to Mandelbaum. He said 905 voters, representing 56.07 percent, cast ballots for Chen, 667 voters, representing 41.32 percent, voted for Rapfogel, 1.42 percent voted for write-in candidates and 1.17 percent abstained. This year’s voter turnout was roughly 17.16 percentage points higher last year’s uncontested election, and 4.55 percentage points higher than 2016’s two-candidate election in 2016, according to 2017 and 2016 Daily articles.
“I’m thrilled about the increase in participation relative to the General Election. Both campaigns did an admirable job engaging the student body and created unique platforms that should excite the student body about the upcoming academic year,” Mandelbaum said.
Chen expressed excitement about her success.
“I’m so honored and humbled that Tufts has chosen me to be their next TCU President,” Chen said. “I’m so looking forward to getting to work tomorrow morning, and thank you to everyone for all of the support.”
Rapfogel, a junior, thanked all those who supported him and participated in the election process and said that he is confident in Chen’s abilities.
“I am really proud of the campaign we ran and we are thankful for all the people who supported me, talked to me, whether they voted for me,” he said. “I have complete confidence in Jacqueline and I think that she’ll make an excellent president.”