Teichman first in over a decade to be re-elected ASUH president

Early on April 10 at about 12:15 a.m., the dawn of the three-and-a-half day voting period, current Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa President Grant Teichman walked into the Kinko’s on the corner of South King Street and University Avenue to print up more flyers.

He had just heard that one of his opponents in his re-election bid ran out of ink on one of the campus computer labs, printing flyers for himself, and Teichman didn’t want to be outdone.

His late-night, early-morning trip to the 24-hour Kinko’s was his last-minute effort to help secure his re-election.

Last year, he won the election with only $41, running against two others. This year, he had to stretch out the budget a little more.

He ran against four other students, one being his current vice president, and used a lot more than $41 for flyers and specially-ordered, individually-wrapped Kauai Kookies with “Grant Teichman For ASUH President” printed on the labels. There were seven cases of them, 1,000 cookies total.

A tired Teichman returned to his dorm room an hour later to catch some sleep before a very busy day.

After early-morning classes, Teichman joined his campaign buddies at their table at Campus Center to meet and greet with students passing by.

They also sign-waved at the intersection outside the parking structure, at the front of the university.

Voting was to start at noon that day, and end Thursday afternoon.

All his and his running partner’s efforts seemed to have results, for the ASUH elections were posted early Tuesday morning, with Teichman winning with 60 percent of the ballots cast.

University records show that Teichman is the first sitting ASUH president to win reelection since the early 1990s.

According to reports from ASUH, of the 967 ballots cast, Teichman received 533 votes.

“I’m very proud of the results,” he said. “We made a case for ourselves last year, and the results show that we’re being asked to serve another year.

“There were five candidates and, in all likelihood, it could have been a close race, but our side was able to resonate with students better.” The second-place finisher ended up with 164 votes.

More students voted for Teichman for president in this election than the total number of people who voted for anything in the election last year. Only 487 cast ballots last year.

In his current term, Teichman has spoken out against tuition hikes, the proposed alcohol ban at Aloha Stadium, and on issues including student housing, security issues, and for keeping the university library open 24 hours a day.

“The greatest strength our group had is follow through. It’s very easy to drop projects, but this is something we worked very hard on,” he said.

He said he made his position as president more vocal and visible than previous students who served, having done TV spots and numerous media interviews.

During spring break, instead of coming home to visit friends and family on Kaua‘i, Teichman volunteered at the YMCA Youth Legislative program, where high-school students get to pass legislation that is important to them.

His budding political career is a lot more intense than his days than it was during his time as the Leo Club president in high school.

A former Kaua‘i High School classmate of Teichman’s, Leslie Colobong, who also attends UH Manoa, was in the Leo Club with him.

“I’m proud of him,” said Colobong. “I never would have thought in a million years that he would do something like that, to come from a small island and to move to O‘ahu and do this. He’s changed a lot for the better.” Colobong is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in elementary and early education, and is doing her observations at the Kamehameha Schools.

“Just knowing (Teichman) from high school, it’s great. It’s a big thing to be the president of the students at a university,” said Colobong.

“I know he’s working very hard. He’s proof that you can come from a small island and do great things,” she said. “He’s representing Kaua‘i.” Teichman is a graduate of Kaua‘i High School and the son of Dr. Geri Young and Dr. Robert Teichman of Wailua Homesteads.

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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