president and vice president

As your new Student Government president and vice president, we know it is our job to advocate for what is best for students and will maximize safety. House Bill 937, currently being considered by the Texas House of Representatives after the Senate passed its own version of the bill in March, would allow guns in classrooms on public university campuses. That’s why we think this bill is so dumb. Private universities are afforded the right to opt out, whereas public universities are not. Why are we, as a public university, not able to have a voice in what happens on our campus?

UT System Chancellor and former Navy SEAL Admiral William McRaven expressed his concerns about firearms on campus in a letter to legislative leaders in January, saying, “The presence of handguns...will lead to an increase in both accidental shootings and self-inflicted wounds.” Former Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa agreed, as do the chancellors from most major Texas university systems. Current UT President William Powers Jr. also expressed discontent with campus carry, as did Art Acevedo, the Austin police chief.

This bill, if it becomes law, will allow real firearms on campus. For some perspective, it would still be against University policy to bring pellet guns, airsoft guns, and prop guns — fake guns — onto campus. You’ll be able to bring a pistol to campus, but if it has an orange tip, get that out of here!

Students should have a say in what happens on their own campus. A change.org petition of UT students opposing campus carry had over 5,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning. UT’s Student Government passed a resolution officially opposing guns on our campus. According to a poll conducted by Everytown for Gun Safety, over 60 percent of those polled believed that students should not be allowed to carry handguns on campuses or in dormitories, and over 70 percent believe college students should not be allowed to bring concealed handguns to class.

Many of the Texas schools affected by this legislation are as big, or bigger, than the cities where many of these legislators hail from. We have reached out to student body presidents and vice presidents across the state, and an overwhelming majority share our opinion. We, as fellow student representatives, have been elected to voice the needs of our students,and do not appreciate attempts in the Legislature to take local governance away from our communities.

Guns disrupt the academic atmosphere of a university. Sitting in a class, knowing that fellow students might be armed, alters the environment. For professors and teaching assistants, lecturing in front of a hall of hundreds of students knowing that some are potentially armed encroaches upon the sanctity of the classroom.

College students experience incredible amounts of academic, social, and family stress.  RAs shouldn’t have to deal with guns in dorms on top of the multitude of stresses associated with on-campus living. Campus police shouldn’t have to worry about distinguishing between a well-intentioned citizen and a bad actor. Professors shouldn’t have to worry about students bringing guns to classes.

Claims that students are in danger on UT’s campus and need guns to protect themselves are unfounded.  Since the UT Police Department began keeping online records in 2000, there have been no murders on the UT Austin campus. In a hypothetical active shooter scenario, who would you rather trust handling the situation: a trained UTPD officer or a sleep-deprived (probably hungover) upperclassman? HB 937 is attempting to fix a problem that does not exist.

The Texas Legislature is ostensibly trying to pass this bill for the good of campuses across the state. How is that the case if so much of campus is against this legislation? The best outcome would be for the bill to be defeated; otherwise, we implore the House to amend the current legislation with an opt-out clause that enables the stakeholders within a university to decide what’s best for campus.

The only guns that should be allowed on campus are our biceps. As good and strong boys, we stand staunchly against campus carry. We hope the Texas Legislature listens to campus opinion and grants all Texas universities the discretion to make decisions regarding their own safety.

Rotnofsky is a Plan II, linguistics, computer science and creative writing junior from Laredo. Mandalapu is a Plan II and economics senior from Sugar Land. They are Student Government president and vice president, respectively.

During their time as Student Government executive alliance, vice president Taylor Strickland (left) and president Kori Rady completed 13 out of 28 of their platform goals.
Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

In Kori Rady’s and Taylor Strickland’s time as Student Government president and vice president, the executive alliance completed 13 out of 28 of its total platform points.

The remaining 15 initiatives are still in progress, Rady said, although he said he expects them to be implemented in the coming semesters.

“When you see the final product you work on, it’s a nice feeling, and you know you’re helping people,” Rady said. “It’s unfortunate that some of the things we worked on, we won’t be around to see.”

Rady and Strickland are still working to finalize on-campus student tailgating for football games, which they said will occur for the upcoming football season. 

Other platforms they list online as incomplete are increasing student parking on campus, increasing branding at the University, and seeing the use of student ID as a form of voter IDs. The legislature has not yet voted on the final issue.

“We’ve lobbied effectively on our end, but I’d really like to see that — not only for UT, but for the state of Texas,” Strickland said. 

Rady said he thinks he and Strickland succeeded in representing UT’s diverse population as well as completing their most important platform points.

“There’s the larger umbrella that Student Government doesn’t always live up to, which is representing a lot of students and actually getting tangible things done,” Rady said. “We’ve done almost everything we’ve wanted to do. … It proves that Student Government is really effective.”

One of the first initiatives Rady and Strickland completed was the SafeRide/uRide program, which provides students free rides on weekend nights from downtown to on-campus dorms or West Campus. 

Since the program’s implementation in September, Rady said more than 5,000 students have used the service.

“[SafeRide/uRide] was one of the first things we really got confirmed,” Strickland said. “We were able to really see how students used it, how students approached it, what they wanted to see change in it, and we got to modify it as it went along. I really think that was one of our best initiatives.”

The pair also succeeded in extending hours of the Flawn Academic Center to being open 24/7, as well as advocating for a week-long Thanksgiving break. 

The Faculty Council approved the extended break last semester, but it needs to be approved by current-President William Powers Jr. and Provost Gregory Fenves before the break can occur in 2016.

Dean of Students’ Soncia Reagins-Lilly said she enjoys seeing legislative student organizations, Rady and Strickland’s included, make changes at the University.  

“Every year is dynamic, is rich,” Reagins-Lilly said. “It is a journey and a learning experience … to watch the students take on these big roles with these big ideas. That process is incredibly dynamic.”

Rady said being president was a massive job, but it was one he said he believed was worthwhile.

“There’s a lot of pressure — there’s no doubt about that — but you grow, and you learn, and you make mistakes,” Rady said. “You look forward and you do a better job. You can see a tangible change.”

Student Government President Kori Rady and Vice President Taylor Strickland are currently halfway through their terms.

Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s Note: With new Student Government President and Vice President Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu being sworn in Tuesday evening, we thought we would take one last look at the accomplishments and failures of the outgoing administration of Kori Rady and Taylor Strickland.

One year ago, the Executive Alliance team of Kori Rady and Taylor Strickland, after winning their election by a hair, came into office with big hopes toward the future. They unveiled an ambitious platform to help the average University student in a variety of ways. This included promises of a more inclusive Student Government, but it also included more specific planks. When it comes to these specific promises, the Rady/Strickland administration has a mixed record in living up to their word. 

For example, the Flawn Academic Center has now extended its hours to be a 24-hour space for students to study or use for other purposes. This comes on the heels of a broader promise by Rady/Strickland to extend hours in student buildings. Certainly, they — and the rest of Student Government — are to be commended for this achievement. However, it is important to note that momentum on this issue was also generated by external sources, such as a Firing Line in the Texan.  

The pair have also had success in expanding the Safe Ride program that prevents drunk driving by transporting students from downtown bars to their homes in West Campus or Riverside.  

On other issues, progress will be slower as initiatives churn through the University administration. For instance, Rady and Strickland promised an extended Thanksgiving Break, which was endorsed last semester by the Faculty Council and will likely take effect in two years. 

But elsewhere, progress has been almost nonexisten. Namely, during the campaign, the ticket promised to “lobby for student IDs meeting voter requirements.” Literally, the administration has done this, as the Texan reported time and again last semester. However, these exercises in lobbying don’t seem to have been particularly successful. Anyone can try and fail at a task at hand, but the students expect leaders who can actually deliver results.  

Be it alcohol at football games, forgiveness for first-time parking offenders or more kosher and halal eating options for students on campus, there are a number of other issues that we can find almost no progress on since Rady/Strickland took office. 

Obviously, it would be the height of naivete to completely fault Rady/Strickland for not being able to wave a magic wand and completely enact their admittedly sometimes far-fetched agenda. However, if an idea was not realistic to begin with, candidates have no business wooing prospective voters with its fantastic siren songs. 

Furthermore, much of the platform arguably was stymied by a dysfunctional and sometimes broken Student Government Assembly. Petty internal dramas ate up a considerable amount of valuable legislative time this academic year, leaving far less time for deliberating and debating pertinent issues. Additionally, even when the Assembly resigned itself from superficial squabbles and actually did its job, it was often unwilling to prioritize the big-picture issues with which Executive Alliance candidates’ platforms are replete. Alternatively, the Assembly sometimes valued insignificant and sometimes downright extraneous issues, such as recently wading into foreign policy. 

Serving at the helm of this University’s Student Government is not an easy task. Indeed, both recurring constraints and new challenges beset leaders year after year. Rady and Strickland have faced particularly tough constraints and still managed to accomplish plenty, but they could have done more.

Hopefully, Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu, who will be sworn in as Student Government president and vice president, respectively, Tuesday evening, will be able to learn from their mistakes, but also double down on the countless positive steps that the old leaders were able to fortunately take during their year in office. 

As the school year starts to wind down, so begins the transition and adjustment period of Student Government’s new president and vice president, Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu. 

Following in the wake of their hugely successful social media campaign — that played a large role in them winning over veteran SG shoo-ins Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi — comes a huge responsibility, that is to implement the change they spoke of on the campaign trail.

The stakes are now higher than ever for an SG president and vice president to deliver on campaign promises, especially with so many first-time voters being inspired to “rock the ballot” because of Rotnofsky-Mandalapu’s appeal to the average, underrepresented UT student. 

If Rotnofsky and Mandalapu can keep these voters involved through the use of social media, then we at the Texan predict their term will be particularly impactful. Transparent clothing jokes aside, keeping students in the loop is crucial in order to maintain the loyalty of the student body and preserve the belief that the little guys should have a voice, too.

In order to avoid a schism between SG veterans and these newcomers, Rotnofsky and Mandalapu should take the time to learn the ins and outs of SG. They don’t have the experience that the typical SG president and vice president candidate typically have, and as much as we hate to say it, steps must be taken to remedy this inexperience in order to avoid tension. This action will have a two-fold result: one being to show current SG members they are committed to their new positions, and two, to demonstrate to UT’s student body as a whole that they are more than just two jokesters trying to make a political statement. 

The reality of the present SG situation may call for fewer jokes, but certainly not less humor. It is important that these two strike a balance between being the funny guys and the guys that actually get things done. This past election was certainly one for the books, but Rotnofsky and Mandalapu are going to have to work twice as hard to win over opponents who weren’t wooed by their comedic charm. At the end of the day, not everyone is into humor. Rotnofsky and Mandalapu should keep these people in mind in order to expand their fan base, but take care not to lose the support of all those who liked their funny take on traditional campaign strategies.

With all eyes on them, including those of national news sources and comedy publications, the pressure is on. As the underdogs, they are expected to fail. Luckily for them, there is much left to be desired about Student Government as it currently stands. Just getting elected is the first of hopefully many refreshing changes to be made to the institution.

Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

Jon Stewart is hilarious. But I wouldn't want him to be president of the United States.

Similarly, Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu, the Texas Travesty candidates for Student Government president and vice president, have been entertaining for us all, yet they should not be elected to lead SG. SG is the official voice of students. If you want your voice to be taken seriously, vote not for joke candidates but for leaders who will listen to you and represent you well. These leaders are Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi.

Though I am not involved in SG, I am a student leader who has seen SG work from the outside. I have seen SG succeed, and I have seen SG fail. For example, SG is the reason the Student Activity Center exists. SG has created study spaces accessible to students at all hours. SG allows student leaders to advocate on behalf of students from all backgrounds to the Capitol, UT System Board of Regents and the city of Austin.

Despite these accomplishments, SG is at times disconnected from the student body. Jones saw this disconnect and launched a campaign for president with a very open and sincere theme of "Let's Talk Texas" to involve the rest of the student body. This campaign is the first I have seen in SG to emphasize student input as the top priority. Furthermore, the platform points Jones and his running mate, Dargahi, have gathered include important issues such as increasing student safety, quality of campus life, and building bridges across communities.

The primary role of the SG president is to navigate between the students, faculty, System chancellor and regents, University president, alumni and all other involved parties to convey student concerns and wishes. Next year is pivotal, with an Austin mayor, Texas governor and UT System chancellor all with less than one year of experience in their positions. Jones is the only candidate who has already established the essential relationships with administrators, faculty and staff. These relationships are crucial for an incoming SG president, who needs to effectively advocate for students during this time of extreme change.

That is the reality of how SG operates on this campus. The portrayal of Rotnofsky and Mandalapu as reformists who are going to make SG relevant to all is false advertising. It is impossible to reform a system unless you’ve been there — as an insider — to see that system fail and succeed. The candidate who is elected to lead SG needs to have experience within the system and knowledge of how the University works. Jones is that candidate.

Jones has the experience within SG, serving previously as chief of staff for Horacio Villarreal and currently as speaker of the Assembly. He knows how to work within the system while also understanding the issues and necessary changes to improve student life on campus. Dargahi brings a different perspective, with a brief stint in SG as an agency director and a wide variety of outside experience through other organizations. This team would not need a semester to learn the ropes. Jones’ wide experience, paired with Dargahi’s fresh perspective, would catalyze the changes that we want to see on our campus.   

Many people have latched onto what they believe are ideological inconsistencies in the campaign’s rhetoric. The most notable of these is campus carry, on which Jones’ stance has been misrepresented. When the Texas Senate introduced SB 11, a bill enabling campus carry, a group of students, including myself, grew concerned and reached out to Jones to help us voice our opposition formally through SG. This resulted in AR 30 being passed in SG, urging lawmakers to consider student safety by opposing campus carry, a sentiment echoed by Chancellor William McRaven.

AR 30 could not have succeeded without Jones’ support. Jones and Dargahi are the only candidates who have the experience, relationships and understanding necessary to work with the Texas Legislature to effectively lobby for the student body.

I have seen a lot of student leaders in my time at this University, and no one is more passionate about the University, about making a difference at UT and about reaching out to the many student groups here than Jones and Dargahi. If you care about the future of our University and want our student voice to be taken seriously, vote for Jones and Dargahi on Wednesday and Thursday at utexasvote.org.

Kruijs is a Plan II and public health senior from The Woodlands. She is not officially involved in the Jones-Dargahi campaign.

Poll: Who will be getting your vote for Executive Alliance?

 

Campaigning for the campus-wide elections is fully under way now, but things have been a little quiet on the campaign trail for Executive Alliance, or Student Government president and vice president.

So with a little under a week to go until voting begins, we're curious to know who will be getting your vote. 

If you already know, please take our poll above. But if you're still unclear on what the teams stand for, check out our news coverage as well as the candidate database we've set up for all the positions. To see the candidates in person, please come to our debate on Monday at 7 p.m. in Jester A121A. Participating will be the teams for president and vice president as well as the University-wide candidates. The Texan will begin issuing endorsements early next week. 

Voting takes place from March 4 to March 5 and is open to UT students only. To vote, visit utexasvote.org.

With the close of filing Tuesday, dozens of candidates officially declared their respective candidacies for the plethora of open offices, including Student Government and Texas Student Media positions. Most important for us, four teams declared for student body president and vice president, and two candidates were certified last Friday to run for editor-in-chief of the Texan. In addition, candidates were certified for TSM board seats, the Graduate Student Assembly, University Unions and the Co-op Board. Candidates officially began campaigning Wednesday. 

As a recent firing line to this publication by an alumnus of the University noted, students have not always had a right to self-determination for many of their affairs. Well into the 1980s, the Students’ Association was nonexistent and the students themselves had no say over the time, place and manner of all too many items of concern for students. 

Some 30 years later, the integrity of students’ already miniscule exercise in democracy is threatened again. The belligerent is not malevolent regents or administration officials, but an apathetic student body. In recent years, turnout has hovered around a disappointing 15 percent, according to data from the Dean of Students’ office. With turnout so egregiously low, and so many on the 40 Acres utterly disconnected, the legitimacy of the ostensibly elected representatives is called into question.   

Texas is dead last in political participation in the country, and we think the disengagement obviously starts early. For this university and this state, that needs to change. 

Certainly, this year — like many years before it — features no shortage of inspirational, qualified or otherwise positive candidates. Multiple contenders from diverse cross-sections of the University have come forward in an attempt to better this school for all who attend and otherwise interact with it. But the best way for Student Government, as well as publications such as the Texan, to work with the community is to be buttressed by robust civic engagement and turnout. 

Thankfully, voting is easy. This year, as before, votes can be cast online over the course of two days. This means you can participate in the decision-making at any time of day, in any place with an internet connection or cell service. You also don’t have to show your driver’s license! 

Over the next few weeks, many organizations, such as this board, will offer our thoughts on the elections for president and vice president as well as other positions. The most important decision, though, is not who one selects; rather, it is the decision to vote in the first place. We hope you make it. Voting begins March 4 and ends March 5. You can vote at utexasvote.org.

Two U-Wide candidates forced into runoff, Villarreal-Wilkey to take GSA helm

Government and corporate communications senior Kori Rady embraces current Student Government president Horacio Villareal after being elected SG president Thursday night. Rady plans to deliver on platform points including an extended Thanksgiving break, creating a SafeRide program to taxi students home from downtown and creating an upperclassman shadowing day to pair freshmen with seniors.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

For a complete list of election results, scroll to the bottom.

After two days of voting and two hours of technical delays, Kori Rady and Taylor Strickland were elected Student Government president and vice president Thursday night.

Rady, a government and corporate communications senior, and Strickland, a corporate communications junior, defeated government senior Kenton Wilson and Caroline Carter, a marketing and international relations and global studies senior, with 51.9 percent of the vote. 

According to Election Supervisory Board chairman Ryan Lutz, 7,822 students voted in the election — a voter turnout rate of roughly 15.02 percent, using fall enrollment numbers. 

“We ran such a positive campaign,” Rady said. “I feel like we deserve all that has happened here tonight, and we can move forward and do great things for the University.”

In addition to the executive alliance election, students also cast ballots for University-wide representatives, representatives for each school and college, the president and vice president of the Graduate Student Assembly, Texas Student Media, the University Co-op and University Unions.

According to Lutz, the two-hour technical delay, which began when the voting website crashed 15 minutes before the polls closed, was caused by a third-party technical difficulty. Lutz said the board will resolve the issues before the runoff election for the eighth University-wide representative position, which will be held Wednesday and Thursday. The two candidates in the run-off, Wes Draper and John Brown, each received exactly 2,080 votes for the position. 

Rady continued campaigning on social media when it was announced that polls would close almost two hours later than expected. 

Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly said approximately 50 additional students voted between 5 and 6:45 p.m., when polling hours were extended.

“Technology can be your best friend, it can be your worst enemy and something somewhere in the middle,” Reagins-Lilly said. “I think people just understand technology can be unpredictable.”

Rady said he plans to deliver on platform points including an extended Thanksgiving break, creating a SafeRide program to taxi students home from downtown and creating an upperclassmen shadowing day to pair freshmen with seniors.

Wilson said he was happy his campaign was able to increase involvement among students who did not have Student Government experience.

“It was close, and obviously we would have liked to come out on top, but overall [Rady and Strickland] are highly qualified and they’ll do a great job next year,” Wilson said. 

The Election Supervisory Board heard four complaints Wednesday night, with one resulting in Graduate Student Assembly candidates David Villarreal and Brian Wilkey being forced to cease campaigning until 5 p.m. Thursday because of a campaign worker sending unsolicited emails. 

Despite the board’s decision, Villarreal and Wilkey won the executive alliance race for GSA. There were 507 graduate students who voted in the GSA presidential election.

Student Election Results

Executive Alliance: Kori Rady (President) and Taylor Strickland (Vice President)

University-Wide Representatives: Braydon Jones, Andrew "Cowboy" Rindler, Piper Vaughn, Taral Patel, Conner Patrick, Chandler Foster, Shannon Geison

The eighth university-wide representative will be determined in a run-off election March 5 and 6. Candidates John Brown and Wes Draper each received 2080 votes.

Student Government Representatives:

Architecture Representative: Valentina Rodriguez

Business Representatives: Jackson Clifford, John Falke, Meredith Rotwein

Communication Representatives: Ruben Cardenas and Marisa Beyerlein

Education Representative: Melysa Barth

Engineering Representatives: Jamie Nalley, Edward Banner, TJ Egeland

Fine Arts Representative: Austin Ferguson

GeoScience Representative: Jessica Sherman

Liberal Arts Representatives: Annie Albrecht, Sergio Cavazos, Tanner Long, Adit Bior

Natural Science Representative: Caroline Starling, Anish Patel, Cameron Crane, Adam Sacks, Donald Egan

Social Work Representative: Alissa Osgood

Undergraduate Studies Representative: Will Smith

Graduate Student Assembly: David Villarreal (President) and Brian Wilkey (Vice President)

University Co-op Board of Directors: Alex Bryan and Jake Schwartz

University Unions Board of Directors: Matthew Ealy and Vicky Nguyen

Campus Events + Entertainment President: Christopher Nickelson

The Daily Texan Editor-in-Chief: Riley Brands

Tuesday, April 4 marked the end of our term as Student Government president and vice president. It truly has been a blessing to serve you all, day in and day out. We sincerely hope we have made the lives of each and every student on this campus a little bit easier. And we want you to remember that student leadership is about one thing: service.

 Do you have an initiative you’d like to take care of? Make it happen. If you can get student support around an issue, you’re making a difference. Today we want to challenge all 53,000 of you to come up with one project this next year that will benefit UT students and the UT community as a whole. Act on that project. Never feel discouraged by people telling you that you can’t do it. This year never would have been such a success without the help of our executive board. We love its members dearly and look forward to continuing our friendships when we become UT alumni. And it’s been such a pleasure getting to work with the UT administration on a regular basis. They know what’s best for UT, and we stand behind them 100 percent. 

We are all Longhorns, and we’ll continue to fight for what is right for this great University of ours. 

Lastly, we’d like to take this time to thank you — the students — for believing in our vision. We are so humbled and honored to have been elected to represent y’all, and we pledge to forever put the student interest first. We sincerely love this University, and we couldn’t have done it without your support. 

Hook ‘em Horns!

Sociology and Education senior Ugeo Williams and History senior Horacio Villarreal were elected Vice President and President of the university’s student body Thursday evening. 

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

After two weeks of retweeting campaign platfoms and sharing Facebook pledges, student chose their Student Government leaders Thursday, electing Horacio Villarreal and Ugeo Williams as president and vice president, respectively.

Villarreal, a history senior, and Williams, a sociology and education senior, won 53 percent of the vote. 

Students elected positions in organizations including Student Government, Graduate Student Assembly, Texas Student Media, the University Co-op and University Unions. 

Villarreal said he hopes to deliver on their platform points including providing upper division tutoring in the Sanger Learning Center, providing incoming and transfer students with upperclassmen mentors and improving safety for students living off campus by introducing more police call boxes.

“Ugeo and I have ideas that we want to change the campus with,” Villarreal said. “The people that are going to be working with us are just as hardworking as we are, and we’re going to try to uphold the reputation of Student Government to get stuff done on campus and make life a lot better.”

Williams said the alliance also hopes to connect with members of the student body that have not always been represented in Student Government and voice the concerns of as many students as possible, including graduate students.

“I’m so overwhelmed and inspired that people believed in our mission and what we stand for,” Williams said.

Williams said he and Villarreal have reached out to the other executive alliances and hope to work together to accomplish their platform initiatives.

“They were talking about making this culture different and engaging students, and that is what were trying to do as well,” Williams said. “There is no type of bad blood between us. We all had a platform point and if we can take those ideas that they had and let them keep their names on them, because even if it wasn’t our idea we feel that students do want them to happen.”

The Ryan Shingledecker-Maddie Fogel campaign came in second with about 30 percent of the vote and the Connie Tao-Ryan Upchurch campaign came in third with about 13 percent of the vote. Chris Gilman and Alison Stoos garnered 4 percent of the vote for fourth place.

Ali Raza, government senior and one of eight newly elected University-wide representatives, said his campaign to better represent minority groups on campus will fit well with the new executive alliance.

“I’m really passionate about serving students and want to represent everyone on campus,” Raza said. “In the past Student Government has really hasn’t been there for people. Representatives tend to push forward their own agenda [and] their own self-interests within communities that are already visible.”

Elections started Wednesday morning and went until 5 p.m. Thursday. A total of 7,623 students voted for the president and vice president candidates, which is about a 14.9 percent student turnout. Last year only 4,483 student voted.

Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly said she was glad the candidates took the election code seriously and treated each other respectfully throughout the campaign period.

“I could not be more excited about an election period that was clean and ended with so much jubilation,” Reagins-Lilly said. “I’m excited to be working with these student leaders and have the opportunity to be a part of the evolution of their platform and how they operationalize that platform.”

Villarreal and Williams will begin their terms April 2, taking the place of current Student Government president and vice president Thor Lund and Wills Brown.

Published on March 1, 2013 as "SG leaders chosen".