The Baruch Believes party, along with their presidential candidate Daniel Dornbaum, won the 2016 USG elections. A total of 1,731 ballots were cast in this year’s election, as announced by the Student Election Review Committee in their unofficial election results on Thursday, April 14.
Only 1,694 undergraduate students voted for the two presidential candidates, Dornbaum and Jibreel Jalloh, with Dornbaum taking 54.66 percent of the votes.
During the week of elections, both parties, along with their supporters, campaigned in the second floor atrium to encourage students to get out and vote.
The Baruch Believes party campaigned with the refrain “Reach, Relate and Inspire,” which aimed to “reach out to students in order to better represent their interests” while “align[ing] the focus of USG with those it serves” and inspire school pride.
“Baruch Believes was committed to having substantive conversations with students surrounding their concerns,” said Dornbaum. “Engaging students through a combination of in-person talks, radio appearances and [question and answer] sessions at club events allowed us to stray away from talking points and focus on hearing student concerns.”
Jalloh campaigned with the idea of “Real Solutions, Raising Efficiency and Togetherness,” pushing for policies that affect all Baruch students, as stated during the April 7 USG Debates.
“One of the strategies that I had was to go to different SEEK classes, freshman orientation classes, and I was able to really portray my message and get their attention,” said Jalloh. “I believe everybody I spoke to, and was able to get them for more than five seconds instead of just throwing like a slogan at them, they went down to vote for me. Anybody that stopped and … listened, I got their vote.”
Since Jalloh ran for USG president without a team, several of his supporters helped him campaign and push his platform. On April 11, Jalloh received a warning email from the Office of Student Life regarding complaints about his campaigning methods.
The email, which Jalloh shared with The Ticker, stated, “Please note that your campaign members cannot threaten the opposing party, harass students, yell/shout at students, block elevators and/or escalators, or have individuals campaigning for you on the first floor lobby between the turnstiles. These are very strict guidelines and adhering to them maintains a safe environment for Baruch students. This serves as a warning, if the complaints continue or we observe the abovementioned behavior you will lose privileges of campaigning on the second floor lobby.”
Jalloh believes the email stopping supporters who were not on the ballot from campaigning “may have cost us the election.”
“They sent out an email Thursday morning saying that if you’re not on the ballot, you can’t campaign openly. That’s why [Thursday] I was basically out there by myself,” explained Jalloh. “I believe that was a punishment. I’m just gonna be frank, I believe that punishment was unfair.”
In the SERC USG Election Procedures for Spring 2016, it is stated under the campaigning guidelines that, “Candidates and supporters are not permitted to interfere, in any way, with the campaign of another candidate in any manner.”
Damali Smith, acting director of OSL, said that after the complaints were filed with SERC, “The committee in conjunction with Student Life then decides how to address the issue. Complaints were filed regarding both teams and the nature of their campaigning. SERC then followed up on their complaints.”
For now, the Baruch Believes party plans to continue meeting with students and will start their USG training during the summer.
“As we pushed in our campaign, we are starting an ongoing dialogue with students. We will be back around campus soon to continue interacting with students and engaging them in Baruch issues as this in turn allows us to better represent them,” said Dornbaum.
“For new and returning members of USG, they will continue meeting with the students who currently sit in their positions to better understand the day-to-day responsibilities of their new roles. I would like to thank Jibreel for the extremely well-run race. He challenged our platform and myself in a respectful way and truly has some great ideas of his own.”
Jalloh says he plans to focus on anti-gun violence organizations in his community in the fall.
“It was just so much against us that it’s crazy how close we still got with all these factors against us, so that’s really accredited to the team and the student organizations that helped me out,” said Jalloh. “But good luck to Dan, good luck to Baruch Believes. Hopefully they move more towards solutions and less towards slogans and really make a change.”