Breitbarth and Sweere elected Student Government leaders

Daniel Breitbarth and Megan Sweere celebrate after it is announced that they will be the Government of Student Body’s president and vice president next year.

Michaela Ramm

Daniel Breitbarth and Megan Sweere were named the 2015 president and vice president of the Government of the Student Body on Friday.

The preliminary election results were announced at the Memorial Union after students had the opportunity to vote Tuesday and Wednesday.

This year, voter turnout reached 12.8 percent, representing 4,135 students.

Breitbarth and Sweere earned 66 percent of the votes, which amounted to 2,754 votes.

The runners-up, executive slate team Amanda Loomis and Kathryn Leidahl, earned 32 percent of the votes.

Loomis said she is still glad she ran for president of the Government of the Student Body. She said she believes the fight is worth fighting, no matter the outcome. 

“We wanted to get the message out there for what the issues we thought there were,” Loomis said. “We got those conversations started, which is a really important part of the campaign. At least we were able to create those voices for students who did want to have those thoughts out there.”

Loomis and Leidahl both plan to be involved with GSB in the upcoming year.

Leidahl said she plans to continue to serve as the representative for the Collegiate Panhellenic Council.

Breitbarth and Sweere said they are ecstatic and humbled by their status and are grateful to those who helped them during their campaign.

“Students have issues and we’re going to address them,” Breitbarth said.

Breitbarth and Sweere campaigned on several issues, including increasing campus parking, alleviating congestion in the Memorial Union and making sidewalks on campus safer for students.

Breitbarth said they sent out a survey to students to gauge the issues they believe are important.

“Whatever the results on the survey are [is] what we’re going to address first,” Breitbarth said.

Sweere said she felt they didn’t hear anything new, but it solidified the plans they already had.

“Overcrowding is such a huge issue that there’s so many places to address, so it helped us identify which areas we should start in,” Sweere said. “Dining and parking are definitely the two that came out a lot, but I think there’s a lot of opportunity there, so it’s very exciting.”

The pair said they are already working on accomplishing their goals, including how to address Veishea and overcrowding concerns.

Breitbarth said many of the changes will be in place by the fall semester, including improvements to northern sidewalk on Osborn Drive and the sidewalks by the Maple Willow Larch dorm rooms, as well as renovations in The Hub.

Sweere said they were also working on their Veishea replacement, called Cyclone Market, which will take place April 11.

Alex Rodgers, election commissioner for GSB, said he was happy with the improvements made in this year’s election season.

“The biggest thing we did for this election season was shorten the timeline,” Rodgers said. “I think that helped because between the time they start campaigning and the time the polls were actually open, students were more aware.”

Rodgers said he also saw room for improvement for next year. He plans to rewrite the election code and push the senate to remove the candidate spending limit.

Both referendums on the ballot passed as well. The referendum to change the name of GSB to Student Government passed at 79 percent with 2,996 votes.

Sweere said she believes rebranding the Government of the Student Body is a great idea, but it’s going to take a lot more than a name change.

“It’s going to have to be a revamp of the whole body,” Sweere said. “The whole body is going to have to work with other groups and get more people involved and just be more open.”

The second referendum to cap the number of senators at 34 seats passed also at 91 percent.

Those elected to represent students as senators were announced as well. The Senate seats are as follows:

  • College of Veterinary Medicine: Elizabeth Meiman and Celeste Morris
  • College of Design: Adam Goldberg
  • Graduate College: George Weston was elected to one seat and there was a tie between nine others for the remaining two Senate seats.
  • College of Human Sciences: David Moore will have one seat, and there was a tie for the other two seats
  • College of Business: Peter Myers, Jennifer Klodt and Robert Dunn
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Brittany Gaura, Cody West and Neil Vezeau
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Cody Staudt, Conner Tillo, Hamad Abbas, Matthew Teubert and Christopher Perez.
  • College of Engineering: Ben Crawford, Michael Snook, Nicholas Bergfeld, Jakob Croghan and Charles Faunce.
  • Schilleter/University Village: Elizabeth Chitty.
  • Campustown: Elijah Decious
  • Interfraternity Council: Steven Valentino
  • Collegiate Panhellenic Council: Kathryn Leidahl
  • Frederiksen Court: Stephen Snyder and Joshua Lackore
  • Inter-residence Hall Association: Abbie Lang, Austin Thielman, Jacob Zirkelbach, Cole Button, Paxton Gray and Emily Tosoni.
  • United Residents of Off-Campus: Danielle Nygard, Adam Guenther, Ryan Peterson, Jane Kersch, Jeremy Clark, Zachary Reece, Ryan Starn, Ian Marlenee, Abbie Lang, Tyler McKnight, Hassan Deer, Matthew Huebsch, Daniel Breitbarth and Clayton Hamilton