RE:buffed

The RE: Party fell 755 votes short of claiming the U’s highest student body office next year.

With 5,690 students casting votes in the final round of elections-about 20 percent of the entire student body-the RE: Party garnered 2,181 of them.

Standing above a sea of Grassroots green and RE: Party black T-shirts, Elections Registrar Jackson Lever delivered the results to more than 200 people Thursday night in the Crimson Underground.

Though presidential hopeful Chris Carlston and vice presidential candidate Ali Hasnain, a former news editor of The Daily Utah Chronicle, didn’t walk away from the night’s results with the Associated Students of the University of Utah’s two highest offices, the party did score a victory when Sara Hogan was elected senior class president by just 50 votes.

“What we’ve done has never been done before, and it’s wonderful that we were able to accomplish so much,” a teary eyed Hogan said after hearing the final presidential election results.

However, RE: Party leadership expressed optimism for the future and support for their Student Senate and General Assembly members who won seats.

“It’s huge. It’s a major victory. We embodied the representation of this campus and empowered a lot of voices never heard before,” Hasnain said.

After trailing the Grassroots Party by 820 votes following primary elections, the RE: Party camp embarked on a furious round of campaigning, but with only two parties in play instead of four, Hasnain said the extra 65 votes the RE: Party gained in final elections was a matter of probability.

“I think with that many more votes in the mix, there was a potential for them to swing either way,” he said.

Throughout its campaign, RE: Party members stressed the importance of integrating voices from student organizations across campus, and Carlston said that’s something that needs to continue.

“I think it’s great that the level of awareness has been raised. We’ve already partly accomplished what we set out to do,” he said.

Though neither Carlston nor Hasnain would elaborate on their immediate future political plans on campus, both said they plan to remain involved in policy decisions and hinted at a reunion next March.

“Before I even began attending classes, I was involved on campus…I have two or three more years left, and I’ll absolutely remain active on campus,” Hasnain said.

Carlston felt the same way, expressing a desire to remain active in the new administrative’s executive branch to further his party’s vision.

In a year with unprecedented voter participation, RE: Party leadership said this year’s result could mark a turning point for student involvement and interest in campus politics.

“A lot of people believed in us in a record-breaking year, and I don’t think we could have done anything differently,” Hasnain said.

Carlston attributed his party’s solidarity and presence in this year’s polls to a strong foundation.

“It all came from the leadership. It came from how we all came together and went after the same thing,” he said.

Hasnain said the U’s student body will be in good hands next year under the Grassroots Party’s watch.

“We have such a high level of respect for them and we know they’ll do a great job of representing students at the U,” he said.

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