Vang and Caldwell clinch marginal victory

Matt Vang and Emelie Caldwell

(Above) Matt Vang and Emelie Caldwell address the student body during the student body presidential debate during chapel Feb. 20.

Matt Vang and Emelie Caldwell received the popular vote and were elected North Central’s next student body president and vice president, respectively, Tuesday, Feb. 20, after competing with Tory Cortese and Sydney Burroughs.

According to Gina M. Zarletti, assistant dean of student engagement, there were over 500 votes, most coming in through paper ballots. Matt and Emelie received 51 percent of the vote, while Tory and Sidney received 48 percent and the last one percent voted “other.” Only current students were eligible to vote and were provided two ways to cast their ballot. Paper ballots were provided after chapel Tuesday and students had the option to vote online from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Cortese said she was disappointed after the loss, though she believes her team made a good effort.

“I think Carlson loyalty really runs deep, so I think not having a male candidate running with us did hurt getting the Carlson vote. I think SAC has a big influence on campus – and they were both SAC members,” Cortese said. “I honestly believe that it wasn’t due to lack of capability that we lost.”

Looking past the temporary sorrow of the loss, Cortese said she supports Vang and Caldwell’s upcoming presidency.

“I think, ultimately, progressing together is putting aside these differences of competition and saying that we still support NCU and we still support the student body and so we still support them, ultimately, in that process,” Cortese said.

Vang said he felt he was not qualified to be the next student body president going into the campaign and experienced challenges along the way, despite winning the election.

“Some of the constraints that I felt during the election, was lack of qualification. Sometimes people will have their doubts on things that they want to do,” Vang said. “Those are just minor things. Being so new in faith it felt hard for me to be able to connect to students spiritually as well.”

For his primary objective, Vang hopes to create and make connections with the students, he said.

“Something we [Matt and Emelie] both deeply care about is having a relationship with students,” Vang said. “For Tory and Sidney, I respect them dearly. Honestly, Emelie and I wouldn’t have had as much fun campaigning if we weren’t campaigning against them. They were great competition. And, like I said before, their dreams aren’t done.”

About the author: Roger Busse

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