Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Wollin wins with help of students

First Ward voters narrowly elected Cheryl Wollin alderman Tuesday night in a race that hinged on student voters.

Wollin, a former Seventh Ward alderman, earned 731 votes. Her opponent, Judy Fiske, garnered 642.

The widest margin between the two candidates fell in the sixth precinct, which includes much of South Campus. In that precinct, Wollin garnered 217 votes to Fiske’s 15.

"I knew that students matter," Wollin said. "There was a natural affinity between students and me."

The 2001 First Ward aldermanic elections pitted Ald. Arthur Newman (1st) against Kellogg Prof. Allan Drebin. Although Drebin had strong student support, Newman won the election by 57 votes.

At Wollin’s victory party at Gio, 1631 Chicago Ave., her supporters erupted in applause when six of the student volunteers arrived. The crowd of about 40 surrounded the students, shook their hands and shuttled them to the back of the room to take photographs.

"After years of feud with the city, this is a fantastic chance to finally change that," said Weinberg sophomore Lily Trienens, who woke up at 5 a.m. Tuesday to campaign for Wollin.

Fiske awaited election results at Kim’s Kitchen, 815 Noyes St., with about 20 supporters. After she learned the results, Fiske spoke privately to her supporters and later was unavailable for comment.

Fiske is an historic preservationist who co-founded the Northeast Evanston Historic District Association. Her priorities included amending city zoning laws, attracting new business to the downtown area and establishing a professional relationship with the NU administration.

"Whether or not I’m elected, I will still be involved," Fiske said before hearing the results.

Wollin, a political science professor at Oakton Community College, ran on a platform of making the council more efficient, improving town-gown relations and managing downtown growth.

But supporters at Fiske’s party complained about how Fiske was perceived on campus.

"It puzzled me when people portrayed her as having some vendetta against Northwestern," said Fiske’s son, Andrew, Law ’98.

Other supporters questioned the role of students in Evanston politics.

"We are really disappointed in the university’s tactics about getting students to vote who are not permanent residents," said Mary Roeder, Fiske’s campaign administrator.

The candidates campaigned for more than two months to replace Newman, who has served since 1991.

Wollin served as Seventh Ward alderman between 1989 and 1993 and moved to the First Ward about six years ago. Several former alderman who served with Wollin appeared at her party.

In a ward with residents ranging from students to retirees, both candidates sought to attract a wide range of support. Fiske, who has lived on the same block for 30 years, focused on representing First Ward interests. Wollin, who ran in the mayoral primary in 1993, has a more citywide approach to the position.

Wollin reached out to senior citizens Monday night when she called the bingo numbers at the North Shore Retirement Hotel, 1611 Chicago Ave. After the election, she came to Norris University Center to greet student supporters.

Wollin will appear at tonight’s Associated Student Government meeting along with Ald. Elizabeth Tisdahl (7th), said ASG President Jane Lee.

Many students said the aldermanic race was the main reason they showed up at the polls. The race picked up in the last few days as student held signs for Wollin and firefighters handed out leaflets for Fiske near the Arch.

"Wollin’s campaign came off as a lot more genuine on campus," said Weinberg sophomore Claire Bergeron. "Fiske’s seemed like a last-minute effort to get students."

Reach Greg Hafkin at [email protected], Amy Hamblin at [email protected] and Daniella Cheslow at [email protected].

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Wollin wins with help of students