Close vote ends in win for previously rejected candidate
The College of Sciences has a new senator following the resignation of the position’s previous occupant.
Michael Ulrich, who ran unsuccessfully for Senate during a previous session, defeated Keith Chung by a single vote Monday for the seat left empty by the resignation of Patricia Stewart.
Stewart resigned her position in late September due to family issues.
The vote, which took minutes to calculate and clarify, ended with 12 senators in favor of appointing Ulrich, 11 senators for Chung and a single abstention.
Ulrich, a fourth-year student of biology, previously ran on the platform of fighting budget cuts.
This time, he focused more on broader aspects of student government and told senators he believes he is now ready for the responsibility.
“Directly or indirectly, the ideas that are hatched in this room go on to affect the student body as a whole,” Ulrich said while making his case to members of the Senate.
Chung, a fifth-year student who has already received a degree in mechanical engineering, emphasized his experience in student organizations.
He said he believed those experiences would allow him to get more science students actively involved in student government.
“I always trying to think big and for my fellow students,” he said, addressing the senators. “I’ve always been there for everybody, it’s been my number-one priority to always help people in any way I can.”
Ulrich, who introduced himself as a hard-working student and member of a larger community, laughingly told senators that he has been doing research on squirrels with UNLV professor Frank van Breukelen.
Chung positioned himself as an experienced student working toward building a more developed science community at UNLV.
“I have been very active in school and community services throughout my years here at UNLV,” Chung said, describing how he helped develop one of the first student health majors-oriented organizations in the country here.
The question and answer session after the candidates gave their speeches went over the allotted three minutes, as senators attempted to get a grasp on the personalities of the two candidates.
“What is one goal — one specific goal — that you will work on before the [November] election?” business senator Ricardo Cornejo asked the candidates.
Ulrich responded that he would like to meet more of his constituents.
“I’ve got to get to know as many of my fellow students as possible,” he said.
That admission, according to urban affairs senator Carrie Sullivan, showed her that Ulrich is willing to learn and grow during his time as a senator.
Sullivan told her peers that the fact that Ulrich recognized his weaknesses — things veteran sciences senator LeShelle Perez could help him with — gave her confidence that he could do the job.
Education senator Paige Hanson said she believes Ulrich will bring a “great face” to CSUN.
Yu Meng, a business senator, backed Chung, questioning Ulrich’s reasons for choosing not to run in the originally scheduled October Senate elections, which were recently rescheduled due to a Judicial Council ruling that a new campaign rule violated the First Ammendment.
Ulrich said he did not want to run for due to the confusion over the changes in election rules and the now-overturned decision banning ticket runs. He added that he spoke to Senator Perez about the issue while it was under discussion.
Ulrich will serve until the Senate elections now scheduled for early November, when he will have the choice to try for re-election.