By Elise Harmon, news editor
Two moderators, nine candidates and a crowd of hundreds gathered in Blackman Auditorium on Monday to help determine who would next hold the title of Mayor of Huntington Avenue.
The mayor is elected every year during homecoming. This year will be the first time the position will receive funding to organize events.
“The mayor is in charge of promoting school spirit on campus and putting on events that get students excited,” Andrew Cloud, vice president of events for the Student Alumni Committee (SAC) and junior marketing and interactive media major, said. “They also serve as the face of [the Office of Alumni Relations (OAR)] and speak to the student body on OAR’s behalf.”
The mayoral election resumed in 2005 after 17 years without the tradition, The News reported at the time.
“It was very big back [in the 1960s and 1970s],” Julia Guilardi, vice president of media and marketing for the SAC and a third-year journalism major, said. “There were a lot of parades and big events that happened on Huntington Avenue.”
The student elected as mayor this year will have more responsibility than his or her predecessors, including running social media accounts for the position, the ability to use OAR funds to organize programs and the responsibility to attend major events.
“They will be expected to attend more high-profile athletic and social events,” Cloud said. “As well as, I would expect, community service and community outreach events.”
With all this in mind, candidates gathered on Monday night, prepared to demonstrate their school spirit and enthusiasm to the audience.
Over 500 people attended, many there to support fraternity or sorority brothers and sisters, teammates or friends.
The forum was moderated by 2014 Mayor Andrew Horowitz and 2014 Homecoming King Jon Letts.
The event was structured in three parts: personal questions, questions about candidates’ Northeastern experience and questions about their plans if elected mayor.
To begin, Horowitz and Letts asked individual candidates questions to give the audience a sense of their personalities: What would your spy codename be? What was your most memorable freshman moment? How would you survive the zombie apocalypse?
Next, candidates demonstrated their Husky pride, talking about their favorite study spots and most memorable moments in Snell. Each one answered the question “What have you done at Northeastern that you couldn’t have experienced anywhere else?”
“A lot of schools pressure you to pick a path,” Alexander, a senior communications, media and screen studies and graphic design major, said. “Northeastern opens all the doors.”
In the final round, each candidate was asked what being the Mayor of Huntington Avenue meant to them. They spoke of uniting the student body, improving alumni participation and communicating the students’ needs to school officials.
“To me, being mayor is being a uniter,” Rojo del Busto, a junior marketing and management major, said. “You want people affiliated with Northeastern to be spirited throughout their lifetimes.”
The Mayor of Huntington Avenue debate can be viewed in its entirety at www.northeastern.edu/homecomingnu. Students can vote for their favorite candidate and view their full bios on myNEU. Voting closes at midnight on Friday, and the winner will be announced at the men’s hockey game against Boston University on Saturday.
Those running for the position are:
Tori Alexander, senior communications, media and screen studies and graphic design major, representing Sigma Delta Tau.
Victor Brailou, third-year finance major, representing Kappa Sigma.
Chelsey Goldberg, senior human services major, representing the Student Athletic Advisory Community.
Ben Gowaski, senior computer engineering major, representing Sigma Phi Epsilon.
Kristen Lobo, third-year business and economics major, representing Generation Citizen and Delta Sigma Pi.
Kyle Mochnacz, senior business administration major, marketing concentration, self-representing.
Christy Murphy, third-year health sciences major, representing Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Sofia Rojo del Busto, fourth-year marketing and management major, representing Sigma Sigma Sigma and Woof Magazine.
Tyler Wong, senior civil engineering major, representing Beta Theta Pi and the Resident Student Association.
Photo by Scotty Schenck