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Mike Lefevre wins DSG presidency

Junior Mike Lefevre was elected president of Duke Student Government for the 2010-2011 academic year Tuesday night.

Lefevre, who ran unsuccessfully for president last year, received 1,663 votes in the election.

“I think it shows what students appreciate most is that you can actually deliver on what you say,” Lefevre said.

After Executive Vice President Gregory Morrison, a junior, was eliminated in the first round of instant runoff voting, Lefevre, current chief of staff, edged out junior Will Passo, vice president for Durham and regional affairs, by a margin of 434 votes.

Sophomore Pete Schork, current vice president for athletics and campus services, was elected executive vice president. Schork won in the first round with 1,936 votes. Sophomore Jane Moore, an athletics and campus services senator, received 643 votes, and President Pro-tempore Price Davidson, a sophomore, had 278 votes.

“Pete and I have had a strong working relationship for a long time,” Lefevre said. “We’re absolutely in sync on every decision we make... [and] we absolutely see eye to eye on a lot of issues on campus. I think we’re a tremendous duo that the University hasn’t seen in a long time.”

Voter turnout was 41.5 percent, which was an increase from last year’s 38 percent, said DSG Attorney General Var Shankar, a senior. Shankar attributed this increase to the simplified ballot used for the first time this year.

“Last year we had three separate questions.... This year we just had one ballot and a pull-down menu,” Shankar said.

All three presidential candidates were docked a few votes for violating election rules, Shankar said. Morrison and Lefevre posted fliers in illegal places and Passo sent a mass e-mail to students.

Shankar also received a number of complaints about endorsements that people thought were unfair, but he did not take any action on those complaints because no DSG rules were violated, he said.

This year’s DSG election process is different from last year’s. In 2009, candidates for DSG president, executive vice president and vice presidents all ran on the same day. This year, however, only elections for DSG president and executive vice president were held together. This way, unsuccessful candidates for president or executive vice president can still run as vice presidential candidates in the next election, which will be held April 15, Shankar said.

“Three well-qualified candidates ran [for president] this year,” said current President Awa Nur, a senior. “It was a year, knowing their backgrounds, you couldn’t go wrong as a voter with who [you chose] to represent [you] at Duke.”

Nur added that she looks forward to seeing what Lefevre will accomplish next year, given his experience as vice president for athletics and campus services as a sophomore.

“Mike is going to be the second recession president since 1981, and he has the knowledge and expertise to continue in these areas that the University will be [dealing with],” Nur said with regards to potential future budget cuts in dining, parking and transportation. “I can’t wait to see what [he] is going to do next year.”