SGA Election Results Released

by Kim Rodgers
Staff

After the third and final round of the Transylvania Student Government Association elections, all officer positions are filled, 29 senators have been re-elected and SGA has a new president.

Junior Jessica Beard was elected SGA president with 163 votes, or 55 percent. Junior Prya Murad, the other presidential contender, received 134 votes.

“I’m really excited,” Beard said when asked how she felt about the results. “Everything went really smoothly, and Tyler did a really great job making sure the vote-counting was fair to everyone.”

Ballots were cast 305 students (eight students did not vote for either presidential candidate), with a total voter turnout of 37 percent.

In the elections held last Thursday and Friday, sophomore Anderson Salinas was elected SGA vice president with 58.9 percent of the vote; first-year Andrew Goff, the other nominee, received 41.1 percent.

Sophomore Josh Edge received 54.9 percent of the votes to win the office of SGA secretary; junior Alex Keys received 45.1 percent.

Thirty-eight percent of the student body voted in the elections on Thursday and Friday.

SGA elections chair Tyler Murphy said he had hoped for a higher student turnout.

“I am … disappointed in the relatively low turnout, which progressively declined with each round of the elections,” Murphy said.

The ballots cast on Monday and Tuesday not only decided the SGA president but also next year’s senators. Thirty students ran for 33 seats, and all students had to receive a majority of the votes to be elected. All voters could vote for as many students as they wished. All candidates received a majority; however, only 29 senators were elected since Beard was elected president and was therefore unable to take the senate seat.

The senators re-elected were as follows: first-years Lindsey Anderson, Elizabeth Beutel, Don Combs, Israel Cook, Bethany Davenport, Andrew Goff, Emily Hamrick, Kelly Hieronymus, Kaitlin Hizny, Hannah Johnson and Cody Kirby; sophomores Julion Cowen, Sara Erfani, Emily Evans, Eli Glass and Katie Gruner; and juniors Grant Buckles, Jacob Cassady, Daniel Cooper, Becky Goncharoff, Elizabeth Haydon, Alex Keys and Prya Murad.

Although disappointed by the low turnout, Murphy was pleased with the overall election process.

“I thank all of the students who participated and were patient with this multistep process,” Murphy said. “We are pleased with the smooth and fair election process – a process in which we all can feel confident was fair and accurate. We had a great field of candidates that made this competitive at every level.”

Beard said that she already has plans for next year.

“I think that the organization needs to be run really efficiently so we follow the purpose SGA was created for,” she said. “I think we should work closely with the administration, … and we absolutely need to create a good relationship with the new president and demonstrate what SGA does for the students at Transylvania.”

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