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May 8, 2012

Students for Change end United People’s 40 year administration

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orty consecutive years of one party governance within Queens College’s Student Association was brought to an end after a victory by the Students for Change party on May 1.

SFC, which ran as the only opposing party to United People in this year’s elections, won the presidential seat by 363 votes. The decision made Karamvir Singh the only non-UP candidate to ever take the presidential seat at QC. UP candidate Malinie Cyril garnered 2,297 votes while Singh took 2,660.

Brian Edelman, SFC vice president, defeated his UP counterpart Vicky Brown by 121 votes.

“I was very excited once the results were being announced,” Singh said. “It still feels very surreal that I will be the president of [the] Student Association, but as the last couple of days passed by and from all the congratulations I have been receiving, it’s beginning to sink in.”

SFC will officially take on their responsibilities on June 1, at which time they will start working toward fulfilling their eight platforms. Among various other things, the party plans to work toward creating better awareness about tuition hikes, bringing more recruiters on campus for jobs and internships, initiating more events for students and increasing transparency within student government.

“I want myself and everyone in SFC to get to know the student body. My job is to hear what the students want and make it happen,” Edelman said.

While recruiting students to join their party, Singh and Edelman reached out to people who were already well-known on campus as a basis for ensuring that those members would serve as liaisons between the 20 student senators in SA and the student body, which consists of roughly 16,000 students.

“Since the members in our party are well-known, we will never really have 20 people in SA. Students will be more up to date with meetings and announcements because many people know who are the elected officials compared to previous years,” Singh said.

While the transition has begun for both parties to take on new roles, Cyril guaranteed that she and her party will continue to work to achieve the goals they had begun to address, despite losing.

“Though we lost the election, that does not mean we will drop everything and cease to exist; we will continue to advocate and win on issues that are important to Queens College students,” Cyril said. “I’m sure we can work in coalition on some issues with them but UP will continue to play the leadership role on the issues we’ve already begun to address.”

Though SFC won the majority of the seats in the student senate, many UP members have been voted in as senators and will serve with the new administration beginning in June.

“It would help SFC to be back with UP members who they believe deserve to come back because they are student leaders,” said UP senator and graduating senior Jonathan Heller, 22. “I think it would help SFC more than they think to have people who know the ropes.”

Though the change of dynamic between the senators in Student Union room 319 is difficult to observe, it is known that there is now a two-party system at QC and both will begin to serve together shortly after the end of the semester.

“Am I sad I lost? Yes. Am I sad they won? No. I think they are going to do a great job,” Heller said.

Contributing reporting by Salimah Khoja



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