By Phillip Lentsch–
Last week’s SGA election was full of contested slots and landslide victories. On Feb. 22, Aaron Vance was declared the new SGA President.
Vance received 75.02 percent of the vote, while his competitor, Nathan Groneck, garnered 24.98 percent support. 1,181 total votes were cast for president.
“When I heard the results, I was excited and elated to have heard that I won,” Vance said. “It’s great honor and I’m proud to have been given this confidence and responsibility to serve on behalf of the student body at U of L.”
Vance recognizes there is work that needs to be done, especially with all the attention U of L has been receiving over the 2015-16 school year.
“We have quite a bit of work to start on now to prepare for the transition with regards to getting acclimated and staff hires. The trajectory and calendar of what we will begin working on for the year will really depend on where the current administration leaves off and what will be the contingent issues as this year draws to a close. Beginning those conversations concerned with funding, diversity, and developing relationships with administrators and my counterparts is paramount,” Vance said.
Vance’s victory wasn’t the only major SGA news catching student’s attention. The election for SGA Academic Vice President resulted in a run-off. The top two candidates, Meredith Cooksey and Vishnu Tirumala, will be competing.
Due to the 4.7.1 clause of the SGA Constitution, a winning candidate must receive at least 40 percent of the vote in order to take office. Cooksey, the unofficial winner, won 39.66 percent.
Tirumala, who received 32.84 percent of the vote (only 93 votes less than Cooksey), is expecting lower voter turnout than the first election. Still, he remains optimistic that he can mobilize his base.
“Since the other races for Top Four have been decided, I don’t think we’ll have as many people paying attention to a run-off election,” Tirumala said. “Regardless, I plan on utilizing social media and talking to as many voters on campus this week as I can.”
Cooksey also plans on reaching out to a broader spectrum of voters in order to solidify her previous unofficial win.
“I hope that even more students after this revote can see the importance of making their voice heard. This time around I am focusing on why students should vote for their Student Government Association representatives and what SGA can actually do for students, because I feel like it is a lot more than it may seem on the outside,” Cooksey said.
As of right now, Vance will be serving as President, Amanda Nitzken as Executive Vice President and Lauren Greenwell as Services Vice President.
To vote in the run-off election, visit ULink, go to the student services tab, find the ballots link on the right side and follow instructions. Ballots will be open until 11:59 p.m. on March 2.