Jason Morgan, a junior political science major, was elected as the next president of the Associated Students of NMU (ASNMU) in the 2009 general election.
Morgan received 68 percent of the more than 1,500 presidential votes cast during the election, which ran from 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8. Junior accounting major David Phillips finished second with 479 votes.
“I’m really looking forward to next year,” Morgan said. “I think that a lot of the members that were just elected to the board will do a great job and I think it will be a great year.”
Junior secondary education and integrated science major Josh Corbat was also elected as the newest ASNMU vice president, with 936 votes. Corbat beat out Morgan’s running mate, junior chemistry major Stephan Baumler.
Morgan said that he was somewhat disheartened when Baumler lost, but is confident that he and Corbat will work well together.
“I think it will work out alright. I think we’ll work pretty well together,” he said. “I’m just hoping that we’ll be able to work together on a lot of things. I know we’ll disagree a little bit, but I don’t think that will be that terrible.”
Corbat and Morgan have both served on ASNMU and although Corbat acknowledged that he and Morgan haven’t always agreed, he is confident in their ability to make joint decisions.
“Jason and I have always had a very good working relationship, but we don’t always see eye-to-eye,” Corbat said. “I see this as being incredibly positive for the organization because we will be able to bring a lot of new ideas to the table.”
Corbat, who credited much of his campaign success to friend Megan Schneider, added that he thinks he and Morgan will be able to get a great deal done while in office. Current ASNMU President Hobie Webster agreed that a diversity of opinions is important for ASNMU to function properly.
“I think you have an inherent advantage by bringing different viewpoints into a conversation,” Webster said. “(Morgan and Corbat) are generally very agreeable people and I think that Josh knows the role of the vice president well enough to understand that his primary function is to help the president fulfill his mission and goals.”
Current ASNMU Vice President Jack Calamaro also felt that the differences in opinion at the top will be good for ASNMU. She mentioned Corbat’s campaign slogan: “No hidden agendas. No political biases. No empty promises. Just Josh.”
“I think that’s exactly what you need. He doesn’t owe anybody anything. He doesn’t have to vote a certain way. He will be just Josh and he will bring that to Jason.
“I hope to see a vice president that will challenge the president more and keep the president in check. While the president speaks for ASNMU, it’s not just the president’s opinion and the president really needs to be the kind of person that needs to look at all points of view.”
Tuesday, April 14 marks the first full day in office for Morgan, Corbat and the rest of the newly appointed ASNMU representatives. Morgan talked about his good working relationship with Webster and said that it should make the transition of power smoother.
“I think that will definitely be a great asset,” he said. “Hobie and I have gotten along pretty great over the past year and I think he’s done a great job. That will allow me to have a very smooth transition ad set me up really well to know exactly what I need to get done for the next year.”
Corbat already has an immediate goal in mind.
“The first thing I want to do is evaluate the open positions we have on ASNMU and come up with a game plan to attract representatives for those positions,” Corbat said.
Corbat and Morgan both touted the other’s work ethic. Although Corbat was not Morgan’s running mate, the new president said that such determination will be very important in the coming year.
“I think (Josh) will do a great job and I look forward to working with him,” Morgan said. “I’m not exactly the happiest with the election, but I’m not upset about it at all. I think it went really well and I was very happy that so many people voted.”