Edge Takes Presidency, Final Vote of 206-121
April 7, 2011 1 Comment
by Jake Hawkins
The votes were tallied, confirmed and, once again, Transylvania University’s Student Government Association has a new set of officers to lead it in another academic year.
Current junior Josh Edge will succeed Jessica Beard, a senior, as SGA’s next president.
A total of 330 votes were cast, which is 40 percent of the student body when seniors are excluded. Before voting, students were required to sign a student roster. Those signatures were counted and that number was compared to the total number of votes reported by SurveyMonkey.com, the online module used to cast ballots.
The Rambler was allowed on hand with Beard and elections chairman Jake Cassady, a senior, to verify the results. Beard, Cassady and a representative from The Rambler all three individually tallied the signatures to assure there was no miscalculation. Both SGA and The Rambler then separately declared the results to be accurate.
There was a one-vote discrepancy between the number of signatures and the number of total votes cast. There were 330 votes reported, while 331 students signed the roster. This was insignificant, however, when considering the margins between candidates.
Other officers that will be a part of Edge’s administration include sophomores Charli Fant as vice president and Kelly Hieronymus as secretary. First-year Kayarash Karimian will serve as treasurer.
In addition, all the proposed constitutional changes that students voted on passed. Because of these approvals, there will be one senator appointed to SGA for every 30 students, and the academic and student life committees will be restructured and renamed to read student and academic “affairs” instead of “life.”
The position of parliamentarian was also dissolved, with the vice-president absorbing the duties of that office.
Other changes include the correction of a typographical error in the constitution as well as eliminating what was considered to be a defunct board for the advancement of student research.
“I was very satisfied with the elections process. The error was almost nonexistent, with the exception of the one person who never cast her or his vote,” said Edge. “Although the turnout was relatively low, I still feel that the entire student body’s voice was represented in the elections. I feel that the process was fair overall.”
Blake Atkinson, a sophomore who vied against Edge for SGA’s top office, also offered his view on the election.
“There is no reason to appeal the results when I got beat by such a wide margin,” said Atkinson. “Josh won it fair and square, and he will serve well. … One has to credit Josh for running an effective campaign and representing himself well. There was a plethora of things that I learned. Most of all, I wish I had represented myself as a more serious and respectable candidate.”
Beard also felt that the process went well.
“All the candidates were very cooperative with one another and completely followed the SGA policy on election procedures,” said Beard. “Jake Cassady and those who managed the polls did an excellent job attracting voters and ensuring that procedures were correctly followed.”
Edge and the rest of SGA’s candidates-elect will be installed as officers on April 13 during the weekly full-senate meeting and will begin serving immediately. Additionally, the heads of the academic affairs and student affairs committees will be elected by the newly formed senate during that same meeting. Edge will appoint liaison positions by the following Sunday.
Elections for senate will take place on April 6-8 in Front Lobby from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m.