Gafoor wins academic VP with largest majority since 1993

When the phone rang Tuesday night in Suite 232 in Kemper Hall, everyone set down their celebratory falafel and pita.

Joking sarcastically, one Sameer Gafoor campaign supporter yelled: “Any guesses? Oh come on.” But no one was surprised when they heard the results.

Running unopposed, Gafoor was elected Associated Student Government academic vice president with a resounding 87.6 percent. About 1,800 students voted for him.

Gafoor, a Weinberg junior, won by the largest percentage of any ASG candidate since Alix Rosenthal received 93.1 percent of the vote for academic vice president in 1993.

“The percentage definitely reflects that Sameer is extremely qualified for the job,” said Nick Kacprowski, one of Gafoor’s campaign managers and ASG treasurer.

Few doubted that Gafoor would beat any write-in candidates, especially after the Coalition of Color gave Gafoor the strongest endorsement of all the candidates for his discussion of minority issues.

Gafoor has already begun working to put student suggestions into action, including a push for a Latin American adjunct major outside the Hispanic Studies department.

“It was really impressive that he did all this campaigning even though he wasn’t contested,” said Lisa Zelljadt, one of Gafoor’s campaign managers. “It really helped him. They took him seriously.”

Gafoor’s platform also emphasized the expansion of the Academic Advising Center, which he worked to establish as part of the Academic Committee for the last two years. His ideas include pre-medical and pre-law advising and an online scheduling aid for students to immediately find out which classes they have left to take in their major.

He also said he wants to lobby administrators to create a target grade P/N option and expand CAESAR to include cumulative grades and automatic registration for a fifth class.

Campaign managers say his greatest asset is his commitment to students.

“He’s not the politician type,” said Rachel Lopez, one of his campaign managers. “He’s about ethics and getting things done.”

The Daily’s Daniel Schack contributed to this story.