Phi Delta Theta president Ben Putano (right) congratulates Amish Patel (left) as the newly elected Executive Director of Undergraduate Student Government after receiving results of the election. Patel ran against Erik Clarke for the position. Photo by Matt Unger.
After a month-long campaign season, the Kent State Undergraduate Student Government election came to a close Tuesday night with senior Amish Patel elected as the new executive director for the 2013-2014 school year.
In the executive director race, Patel beat out Erik Clarke by an 877-569 margin to gain the title of executive director elect.
“Literally I wasn’t even looking at the screen because I was just so nervous,” Patel said. “Everything really boiled down to today, and I know that Erik and all the other candidates that were running gave it their all; that’s all we can ask out of anybody running for something like this.”
Patel’s opponent Clarke said in an email that he is proud of the campaign he ran and the people that helped him along the way. Clarke went on to say that he is not done with running for office just yet.
“I still have another year before graduation to contribute in some way to this campus and help build this community, and I intend to use that time wisely,” Clarke said. “I’m also looking forward to applying to graduate schools and pursuing an MBA.”
Almost every candidate huddled around the Student Organization’s office wore a tense face as each minute passed. Patel and a group of other candidates got so nervous that they made a trip to the Rathskellar to calm their nerves.
“I’m kind of a guy who plays it chill,” Patel said. “Ultimately, today was the most nerve-wracking day for me. I woke up at seven in the morning and just had sweat pouring down me. All I knew was I had to rely on those that were going to help me.”
While Patel and Clarke ran for the high stakes job, three men ran for the director of governmental affairs. When the dust settled, Joe Bizjak received nearly 60 percent of the votes and beat out Chris Clevenger and Joseph Brown.
“It was – I don’t know how to describe it – just pure ecstasy,” Bizjak said. “I’m overwhelmed right now with the confidence that the student body has invested in me with their votes. I’m overwhelmed with hope and optimism of what all of us are going to be accomplished next year.”
Another tight race was for the senator seat for the College of Communications. Natalie Moses earned the victory by receiving half of all the votes over Lauren Buchanan and Tyler Douglas.
“Everybody says that you’re going to be fine, but the fact is that I was running against two more than capable, competent candidates,” Moses said. “I have the upmost respect for them, and that’s why until the very last minute I was nervous until I saw my name on the screen. Even when I did, I was like ‘really?’”
More students voted in the College of Communication senator race than in any other college.
One of the most publicized positions was the director of programming. It is now Marvin Logan’s job to bring in acts and speakers to get Kent State students excited for the good times at Kent, like Flashfest and comedy shows.
“Student leadership is a thankless job, and you never expect people to really notice the things that you do, but I think that several hundred people noticed today,” Logan said.
Logan has been working with the programming board for the past two years and with this win, he said he is excited to bring some of his ideas to life for students.
“I am stoked,” Logan said. “I’m almost as happy as a father having his first son. I am ready to take of the challenge of being the director of programming, and I am ready to give Kent State 110 percent.”
Contact Matthew Lofgren at