Lopota, Roche win ASNMU election

Amanda Monthei

With 1,199 total votes tallied — the highest number since 2010 — former ASNMU Vice President Amber Lopota secured nearly half the vote to become the new ASNMU president on Wednesday, April 3. Her unofficial running mate, Abby Roche, secured the vice presidential position, also taking approximately half the vote.

“I don’t think relief would be the right word,” Roche said. “It’s just a weight lifted off my shoulders. It’s nice to focus on something else because, as I was telling a lot of people, I’m relieved campaigning is over because that’s not really what ASNMU is about. It shouldn’t have to be about that and it’s definitely a weight off my shoulders.”

Both Roche and Lopota are looking forward to putting into action the policies and promises they’ve established during their campaign, and will begin with scheduling representatives to attend residence hall meetings.

“I want to find out class schedules because I made a commitment to the residence halls to have representatives in place,” Lopota said. “I want to see how much of that I have covered already and then availability will come into play when we start looking at adding new members.”

Roche said that seeing where ASNMU has succeeded and foundered in the past is another important first step for her and Lopota.

“I guess sitting down and really looking at what has worked for ASNMU in the past five to 10 years and what hasn’t worked,” Roche said. “That’s where I want to start — just kind of getting a mission statement or a vision of what needs to be on the horizon.”

Roche said there are also plans in place for the summer, which, according to both Lopota and Roche, will provide an opportunity to organize and put a system into place prior to the fall semester.

“I look at ASNMU as a source that hasn’t been tapped,” Roche said. “There are so many resources that we have, and I think that’s really where we’re going to start is in the planning phase and really getting a vision, working hard this summer, and making sure it’s an organized system.

“(We’re) making sure this positivity and upbeat energy continues because that’s what we ran on our whole campaign was positivity. We’re going to get this done and I think we can do that throughout the year, it’s just a matter of keeping our eyes on the prize.”

According to Lopota, the campaign process was difficult, but the benefits it reaped were well worth it.

“I feel like my mind has really been expanded,” Lopota said. “I feel like I understand myself in a lot of ways that I didn’t prior to the past couple weeks. There were a lot of moments during this campaign where I was tested emotionally, physically and I took the high road every time. Which is something that anyone can attest to being very difficult.”

Lopota also said the process itself — including debates, campaigning, communicating with organizations and meeting individuals — was a completely new experience for both her and Roche.

“I’ve never done a campaign before, I’ve never run for an elected position opposed,” she said. “I’ve been trying to communicate with different house governments and different student groups throughout the past year and from that I kind of came to understand what students were really looking for — and it’s really just someone to listen, and not just to listen, but then to maybe help guide them where they need to go.”

According to Roche, time management became the hardest aspect of the whole campaign process. She said she just tried to remain positive through everything, however.

“It was really all about time management and making sure that I had enough time to talk to different groups and talk to different people,” Roche said. “I guess that’s just what it all came down to. It actually came down to being a lot more of a positive experience than I was expecting. Going into it, I was really apprehensive about what it would be like time wise, but it ended up being okay and everyone was pretty helpful.”

Lopota defeated former president Ben Stanley and Brandon Zanon in the presidential election, while Roche defeated John Brady and Wesley Reiber.