The 72nd Fairfield University Student Association election proved that one vote, or 12 as the case maybe, goes a long way. Junior Claire Monahan and Noelle Guerrera ‘21 were elected to be the 2019-20 student body president and vice president by a margin of just 12 votes.
The two campaigned right up until the polls closed at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26 in the Daniel and Grace Tully Dining Commons where they handed out candy and spread positive enthusiasm.
At 7:00 p.m., students took to The Levee Pub to support the next elected leaders of campus. When the results were announced at 7:20 p.m., it was met with resounding applause from University students as the underdog candidates were declared the winners. Neither Monahan nor Guerrera have served on the FUSA programming board or on any board in the executive branch, and Guerrera ran as an underclassman. Monahan currently serves as the head of the judicial branch as chief justice of the FUSA court and Guerrera currently serves as the head of the legislative branch as speaker of the senate.
Monahan and Guerrera defeated opponents Thomas Boutros ’20 and Danielle Tringali’ 20, Brian Gozzo ‘20 and John (Jack) Callanan ’20 and Jennie Toutoulis ‘20 and Meghan Jackson ’20 after a six-day election period.
“FUSA president was never something I thought I would do,” said Monahan. “What I realized is that FUSA president is the voice of the students.That’s when I realized that the FUSA president is someone that can achieve real change on campus.”
Monahan and Guerrera were able to secure the presidency with 532 votes. Boutros and Tringali came at a close second place with 520 votes, followed by Toutoulis and Jackson with 275 votes, and Gozzo and Callan received 249 votes.
“There were a lot of amazing candidates that inspired Claire and I to work harder to campaign and connect with the students,” said Guerrera. “I always loved serving the students and listening to what they want fixed. I want the students to know they can always approach me and know that I’m still passionate about solving their issues.”
The total amount of votes cast by the class of 2019 was 184. The junior class contributed 454 votes, sophomores cast 441 and first-year students made their voices heard with the highest amount of contributed votes at 507.
“Since we were the only ticket with members from two different class years, we really wanted to make sure the concerns of the the first-year and sophomore classes were heard,” said Monahan. “Our platform centered around feedback we heard from them, we want to improve fairfield for future students.”
Current FUSA president Danielle Rice ‘19 applauded all of the students that put all they had into the election.
“We are so proud of all the candidates and the dedication they’ve shown to the student body and FUSA. Matt and I know how hard it is to put yourself out there to run. We’re excited for Claire and Noelle to continue a legacy,” said Rice.
Monahan plans to stick to her campaign promise of remaining open and transparent to the student body. “I want the students to know that they can talk to me about anything at any time, by email, coming to the FUSA office, they can come up to me in The Tully.”