By Jillian Wrigley, news staff
While the 2016 presidential election received most of the spotlight, another election also made headlines at Northeastern this week. On Monday night, students came together in Blackman Auditorium to support the candidates running for Mayor of Huntington Avenue (MoHA).
The “Meet the MoHA” event at 7 p.m. showcased eight candidates representing 11 different clubs and student organizations to a crowd of about 100 students.
The candidates are: Emily Blackwell representing the Husky Ambassadors and National Residence Hall Honorary; Jacob Walsh of the Northeastern University Huskiers and Outing Club and the Northeastern Recreational Climbing Club; Amy Andes of Alpha Epsilon Phi and the Northeastern University Panhellenic Council; Savannah Knisely of Kappa Kappa Gamma and Relay for Life; Patrick Ward of Delta Tau Delta; Henry Conroy of Sigma Phi Epsilon; Spencer Sutton of Kappa Sigma; and Rachel Basso of Husky Ambassadors.
Northeastern students can vote for MoHA until midnight on Thursday via myNEU. The winner will be announced Friday during the men’s basketball game against Boston University.
“The ideal mayor is someone who has lots of school spirit and just wants to put on events that connect the student body,” said Julia Antoniou, Student Alumni Association (SAA) vice president of university relations and a senior mechanical engineering major.
At Monday night’s event, the candidates were asked multiple questions about their personalities, interests and ideas about what they could bring to the Northeastern community.
On top of short question and answer sessions, the students also participated in games that got the audience laughing, including a challenge to see who could empty a tissue box the fastest and dramatic lip sync battles.
MoHA is an annual competition that takes place during Homecoming week and began in the 1960s, but recently became popular again when the program was resurrected in 2005. The mayor serves for a year and collaborates with SAA and the Office of Alumni Relations to put on different campus events for the students.
Ben Gowaski, the current MoHA, moderated Monday night’s event and stressed the importance of improving Husky pride on campus.
“School spirit is definitely important, especially since the school has been changing so fast,” he said. “I think a lot of people need to realize that since we’re becoming so big in the national spotlight, we need to be known for more than just our academics.”
Many students gathered in Blackman Auditorium to cheer on their fellow fraternity brothers, sorority sisters, club members and teammates.
“I’m looking for someone very charismatic for MoHA, to get people excited to go to things like this,” said Dominique Ryan, a senior communication studies major.
Despite representing a wide array of organizations and interests, one thing all the candidates agreed on was the MoHA’s obligation to bring the Northeastern community together.
“[My] main goal as mayor is to connect people,” said Blackwell, a senior human services major competing for MoHA. “Bringing together students and alumni that may not organically meet due to different interests and paths in an inclusive way.”