Leopoldino-Dinneen wins close CSGA elections

Leopoldino-Dinneen wins close CSGA elections

SM Webster

The newly elected executive board of the CSGA includes president Kaipo Leopoldino (second from left) and Caitlin Dinneen (in blue, to his left).

Kaipo Leopoldino, 19, the current House of Representatives chair, will be the new CSGA president; the student government body announced Friday, April 20. Leopoldino defeated Jesus Luna, 22, by winning the popular vote. Leopoldino and his running mate, vice president Caitlin Dinneen, 22, a transfer student this year from Foothill Community College in Los Altos Hills, Calif., have already taken office in preparation of the 2012-13 academic year.

Leopolino and Dinneen earned 56 percent of the popular vote, winning a remarkably close election despite having the election process be postponed the week before due to some ineligible candidates.

Dinneen, the newest executive vice president, is Chaminade’s first transfer student to become an elected officer his/her first year here in the last four years.

Prior to the voting process, on April 4, in the Loo Center, the CSGA hosted an open-mic event for the 2013 candidates, who were given the opportunity to answer any questions the student body might have before electing them into office. The turnout had about 50 students. However, once the packets had been turned in after the event, the head of the CSGA election’s Jeremy Belt, 21, vice president of internal affairs, found that some of the candidates were ineligible to hold a position based on their GPA.

Three of the running candidates were then taken out of the election process, leaving an inadequate amount of members to meet policy for the election process. This then caused the elections to be postponed until the voided spots could be filled.

One of the disqualified members was the running candidate as vice president for Leopoldino.

“It wasn’t presented as ‘I no longer have a vice-president’, it was, ‘your vice-present isn’t qualified to run at the moment, but there is still hope,’” Leopoldino said.

Under the impression that Leopoldino’s vice president could talk to the dean and get it all sorted out, Leopoldino said he still had hope until five days before the election, when his vice-presidential candidate said that he should just find another candidate to run instead.

Rushed, Leopoldino then began working to find a replacement as his vice-president. Election days were approaching fast and as head coordinator for the elections, Belt worked hard on the process of keeping the CSGA elections running smoothly despite the downfall.

Collaboratively, the CSGA determined that this ineligibility of candidates was warranted enough for the movement to push back the election dates to the following week. Students then could either become eligible, or be replaced with in the running so the CSGA could finally hold a valid election.

The postponing of the election provided some leeway for the contestants to ready themselves for the crash-course voting process.

“Because our pairing was so sudden, we didn’t have time to campaign as much as we would have liked to, but that extra week gave Caitlin extra time to whip up flyers,” Leopoldino said.

Recruited initially as the CSGA commuter senator, Dinneen approached Leopoldino, who was still in search of a vice-president, and discussed with him the duties responsibilities of the role.

Dinneen then became Leopoldino’s vice-presidential candidate on April 10; only five days before the reorganized dates of elections began.

Dinneen and Leopoldino pulled together their campaign and ultimately ended up winning the popular vote of the student body.

“Because I just transferred here, I have not really established myself yet,” Dinneen said, “… but we are approachable enough for people to talk to and willing to communicate with them about Chaminade and what they think we should do.”

Their teamwork, proving to be successful under pressure, Leopoldino said he was looking forward to this year, because they were already working together so well.

“We have very similar personalities and what Chaminade needs is a charismatic team,” Leopoldino said.