The Daily Northwestern

Xu wins AVP, Does Not Consider Result ‘A Victory’

Libby Nelson

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By Libby NelsonThe Daily Northwestern

In her second year running, McCormick junior Anna Xu won the academic vice presidential election Tuesday with the smallest margin of victory for an unopposed candidate in recent years.

Xu received 1,605 votes, 55.6 percent of the total. The “no confidence” option received 30.8 percent, or 890 votes out of the 2,888 cast. There were 271 voters who abstained.

“We’re happy, but by no means do we consider this a victory,” Xu said shortly after learning the results. “I’d like to win by a bigger margin. But it turned out the way that it did.”

Campaign manager Nina Kim, a Medill junior and former PLAY columnist, said she considered the campaign a success.

“It was a valiant effort on behalf of Anna, from her opponents and her supporters,” Kim said. “Despite some bumps in the road, we gave all the heart we had and I’m absolutely ecstatic with the result. … Victory just tastes so sweet.”

Last-minute challenger Jason Gumer, a Medill junior and former Daily staffer, received 255 write-in votes, 8.8 percent of the total.

Xu, who has served on Associated Student Government’s academic committee for two years, also ran for academic vice president last year. She won the most votes in the general election, but lost in the runoff to the current academic vice president, Communication senior Jordan Fox.

This year, Xu ran on a platform emphasizing improvements to academic advising in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the Medill School of Journalism.

Kim, who was Xu’s campaign manager last year, said last year’s campaign demonstrated the importance of visibility and outreach.

Though Xu was unopposed, she received a higher percentage of “no confidence” votes than other candidates this year, which Kim said could have been the result of vocal opponents who publicized their views.

English lecturer Bill Savage wrote in a letter to the editor that appeared in The Daily on April 3 that “any student voting in this election should choose ‘None of the Above,’ due to the woeful ignorance Xu expresses regarding academic advising.”

Kim said Savage “misconstrued” Xu’s views but that the letter probably had an effect on voters.

“People who haven’t necessarily been following the election … may have taken that to heart,” Kim said.

Xu said she was not surprised by the number of ‘no confidence’ votes because she tried to go into the election without expectations.

“I just tried not to think about it and meet as many people as I could,” she said.

Reach Libby Nelson at libbynelson@northwestern.edu.

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