The Daily Illini

Pileski elected as new student body president

The University’s new student body president will be David Pileski, student senator and sophomore in FAA, after the Illinois Student Senate held internal elections for its 2011-12 executive board on Monday night.

The elections were overseen by the Student Election Commission and held in the Illini Union. Also up for election were the three other seats of the executive board — vice president-internal, vice president-external and treasurer.

Pileski won over the other presidential candidate Jim Maskeri, sophomore in LAS, with 57 percent of the vote.

David Olsen, current student body president, said the role of president carries with it the burden of leadership. The president must not only lead the ISS but also represent the students of the University.

The election for president came down to the candidates’ ideals and motivations. Nolan Drea, current vice president-external of ISS, said he saw Maskeri as working more towards addressing internal issues, such as bylaw changes, while Pileski was more intent on reaching out to the student population. Pileski said he was relieved the campaigning was over, and could now set his sights on the actual position.

“I put in a lot of time and effort into it,” Pileski said. “This was something I was very passionate about. Seeing where this led to was very rewarding.”

Along with his role of student senator, Pileski served as chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee. In a statement, he said one of his main goals was to improve the relationship between the student population and the senate.

March student election voter turnout was only about nine percent, a drop from the previous year. While the low voter turnout was seen as a sign of lack of interest in student government, Pileski said it was up to the student body president to help “students put a face to the student senate” and make ISS relevant.

“There are two components to this issue. It’s educating to the students about what the senate does and reaching out to them, but also engaging them on issues,” Pileski said. “If we’re not willing to reach out to them, why would they reach out to us?”

In the other executive board elections, Jackson Garvey, junior in LAS, was elected vice president-internal, and Sam Barghi, student senator and junior in LAS, was elected vice president-external. Frank Niu, junior in business, won the treasurer seat.

The ISS officials and senators-elect will be sworn in during the April 20 transition meeting.

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