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Morrison wins election

Director of University Relations secures second bid for Student Council president

Third-year Commerce student Dan Morrison, Student Council's current director of University Relations, was named the president-elect with 3,861 votes, defeating third-year College student Evan Shields. Third-year College student Aneesha Rao also was announced as the incoming vice president for organizations, and second-year College student Whit Hunter was named the incoming vice president for administration.

Morrison was defeated in last year's election by Student Council President Colin Hood. The defeat changed his outlook on what it meant to win, Morrison said.

"Losing to Colin Hood last year and winning this year definitely gives you a better perspective of how to win," he said.

After the results were announced in Jefferson Hall, Morrison gave his acceptance speech wearing a red Wendy's jacket.

"You hold your breath until they put the PowerPoint slide up and you hope for the best," he said.

Morrison expressed that his first concern when he takes office in April is to make sure he takes action quickly to alter some of the Council's proceedings, as he said that changes "really have to be made before the summer recess" to be implemented effectively. Specific initiatives he mentioned include improving SpeakUpUVa and finding a way to further involve the representative body in Council's outreach programs.

"It's really sitting down with the current members of Student Council to figure out which tweaks need to be made, and to hammer out a plan so that those can be made in time," Morrison said about his plan to initiate reforms early in his term.

Hood spoke favorably of Morrison, saying he's excited for the incoming team and expects a smooth transition. He and Morrison have worked together extensively in the past and emphasize many of the same issues.

"Dan and I both agree that communication is our priority," Hood said. "Our projects need to have strong transitions if they're going to be effective. I think that he's going to maintain that priority and he's going to continue to expand the projects that we've done this year."

Hunter also spoke favorably of his working relationship with Morrison, saying they both agree Council should strive to maintain an open atmosphere. Hunter described the VPA position as one of planning and ensuring that committees operate smoothly. He said he hopes to learn a great deal from outgoing VPA Jen Bristol, as well as find a strong means to address the student body.

Specifically, Hunter seeks to make Council "a truly representative group, both demographically and ideologically, a group that is not only representative of the student body but also of student ideas," Hunter said.

Bristol said she looks forward to working with Hunter during the transition period, though she tried to stay out of the campaigns.

"[VPA is] a big balancing act," Bristol said. "[Hunter] will have to be very engaged. We'll work a lot together and I hope that he's ready for the challenge."

Rao was unable to attend the announcement ceremony, but gave a statement expressing that she was excited to take office as VPO, the office that allocates funding to contracted independent organizations.

"I am excited to implement my platform as well as aspects of my opponents' platform to ensure that more CIOs feel connected and well-funded by Student Council," Rao wrote in an e-mail.


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