Whispers, cries of joy and congratulatory hugs were abound after President-elect junior Rachel Coffey and Vice President-elect junior Bradley Keliinoi were greeted with the news of their victories by Dan Fergueson, director of college activities, Secretary senior Sophie Larson and President senior Colin Jones inside Nicholson Library on March 8.
Keliinoi said that he was sitting in the library anticipating the committee’s arrival when he spotted the committee looking for Coffey first.
“I tried to prepare for both outcomes (winning or losing) the whole time I was waiting,” Coffey said. “I was in the library working on a group project, and we were kind of hidden — then I saw Colin [Jones], Sophie [Larson] and Dan [Fergueson]; all I kept saying was ‘Really? Really? Really?’”
Coffey received 62.7 percent of the vote to junior Katie Patterson’s 35.6 percent and 1.8 percent abstentions. Keliinoi received 71.3 percent of the vote to 28.7 percent abstentions. These percentages are based off of the 617 students who voted.
“I just had an overwhelming amount of feelings and emotion and it [the win] made everything with campaigning worth it,” Coffey said. “I went to my apartment right after I found out, and I was jumping around and screaming with my roommates because we were all so excited.”
Coffey said that during her campaign, she reached out to students in Dillin Hall and in the residence halls by door-to-door and leaving fliers.
“Now that I’ve come to grips, I realize everything that I need to do now — like hiring Cabinet and following through with my goals,” Coffey said.
She said she wants to work to bring together a diverse Cabinet that reflects Linfield students as a whole and said that she encourages students to apply or sit on the hiring committee. Applications are due March 15 at 5 p.m., she said.
“The best part of all of this is the support that I got from everyone and my roommates,” Coffey said. “It just shows that I surround myself with good people; they helped me get through these past two weeks.”
Keliinoi said that throughout the election, a lot of people assumed he was going to win, but he did not have that mentality during the process.
“I didn’t run under the assumption that I was vice president yet. Instead, I ran my campaign like I was running against someone,” Keliinoi said. “I’m proud of myself, and I tried to reach out to everyone with campus e-mails, links and fliers.”
Keliinoi said that he is excited for next year and looks forward to working with Coffey and hiring a Cabinet.
“I’m ready to hit the ground running,” Keliinoi said. “I’m looking to hire a wide range of qualified people that have passion and drive behind their ideas.”
Keliinoi said he also looks forward to working with Patterson and getting her advice during the transition, and he said he hopes that she continues working with ASLC in other leadership positions.
The presidential and vice presidential turnovers take place May 1.
Patterson declined to interview with TLR via e-mail shortly before the results of the winners were announced.
ASLC President senior Colin Jones said that a low percentage of voters typically turn out at the polls when students recognize that there is only one race with competing candidates. No primary election was held March 1 because no more than two candidates were running for a single position. This meant less publicity for the March 8 general elections.
“It comes down to the candidates and how much they campaign,” Jones said. “This year, ASLC did a lot more publicity than last year, but the key is to get candidates to run, not vote.”
Jones said that ASLC mandated that candidates create a banner in the past, but it cannot force a candidate to campaign.
The day before the General Elections, the candidates sat down in the Fred Meyer Lounge for “Fireside Chats” after the Senate meeting March 7.
Each candidate had 10 minutes to answer questions and elaborate on his or her platform goals. Dan Fergueson, director of college activities, moderated the chats.
Keliinoi went first and reiterated his goal of having ASLC become more visible to students and his plan of following through with discussions of the Cabinet restructuring.
Patterson reinforced her goals of working toward getting a student center, using resources such as the Communications Board to increase communication between students, faculty and administration.
Coffey reminded students of her experience with Cabinet and Senate, and she acknowledged that she was ready to take on the challenge of the presidential role.
A few of the other topics that the candidates touched on were work study, getting along with each other once elected and ideas about the Community Outreach and Environmental Education (CORE) Coordinator.
Jessica Prokop/News editor
Jessica Prokop can be reached at email@example.com.