Stephen Svatek

Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu compete in the executive alliance debate against candidates David Maly, Steven Svatek, Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi in the Union Ballroom on Monday night.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Tacy | Daily Texan Staff

Welcome to The Daily Texan's election night live blog. Throughout the night, we will provide updates on the campus-wide Student Government elections. To learn more about the candidates, check out Student Elections Explorer.

10:00 p.m. – The results are in:

7:30 p.m. – Because no one ticket captured more than 50 percent of the vote, there will be a runoff election for Executive Alliance between Rotnofsky-Mandalapu and Jones-Dargahi. Jones-Dargahi received 46.34 percent of the vote and Rotnofsky-Mandalapu received 26.9 percent. The other two executive alliances on the ballot, Maly-Svatek and Morrison-Normyle, received a total of 26.76 percent. 

Jones-Dargahi and Rotnofsky-Mandalapu will campaign for six more days before the runoff election March 11-12. Each team will be allowed to spend an additional $150 on campaigning.

"We're not as nervous anymore," Rotnofsky said. "Surprised for sure. This has been the most successful. I’m pretty sure this has been the most successful [Texas Travesty] campaign. Travesty alumns have reached out to us and said they loved the campaign. That’s been the best reward."

Jones said he is optimistic about his team's odds for the runoff election.

"Our numbers looked great the first time," Jones said. "We're going to do exactly what we've been doing."

Election Supervisory Board Chair Nick Molina said it was difficult to predict the results of the Executive Alliance race. 

"I wouldn’t necessarily say its a surprise," Molina said. "[Both teams have] been campaigning so well."

7:07 p.m. – Liberal Arts representatives are Jenny McGinty, Tanner Long, Connor Madden, and Sammy Minkowitz. Claire Smith wins the race for The Daily Texan editor-in-chief. Engineering representatives are Gregory Ross, Edward Banner and Joshua Richardson. 

7:01 p.m – Election Supervisory Board Chair Nick Molina said 9,801 people voted in the campus-wide elections this year, an increase of 14 percent from last year.

"I want to thank all 74 of the candidates who ran in the campus-wide elections this year," Molina said. 

First results are announced, University Co-Op Board of Directors seats go to Cameron Kerl and Dana Le. Graduate Student Assembly winners are Brian Wilkey and Vance Roper. 

6:55 p.m. – With five minutes until elections results are announced, Jones said if he wins, he will talk to the other Executive Alliance teams to discuss their platforms. Rotnofsky said if his team wins, he will demand a recount. Maly said he and Svatek will work to accomplish every goal on their platform.  

6:41 p.m. – The three Executive Alliance teams – Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi, David Maly and Stephen Svatek, and Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu – enter the assembly room. Election Supervisory Board Chair Nick Molina said results could be announced any time between now and 7 p.m.

6:28 p.m. – The Election Supervisory Board arrives and directed bystanders to take seats at the front of the room. Supporters of Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi are chanting fellow Executive Alliance team David Maly and Stephen Svatek's slogan, "SG for all." 

Kevin Helgren, a candidate for University-wide representative, said he's more nervous than excited to hear the election results.

"I'm a little bit excited, but more nervous ... it's after 5, so we did what we could," Helgren said.

6:20 p.m. – With 10 minutes until election results are released, students and candidates are waiting outside the Legislative Assembly Room in the Student Activity Center. Doors are set to open at 6:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

David Maly and Stephen Svatek, presidential and vice presidential candidates for executive alliance, are plugged in to a number of outlets on campus. 

Maly, a journalism and economics senior, is involved in several journalism publications on campus, and Svatek, a civil engineering junior, is involved in Longhorn Band and other organizations in the Butler School of Music.  

“I’ve been heavily involved in campus activity during my time here, mostly through journalism, and I’ve been able to dig heavily through different areas of campus,” Maly told the Texan earlier this month. “I’ve learned a lot about … the issues at UT.”

Maly, editor-in-chief of the Horn and the Odyssey, said he has covered Student Government extensively during his time as a journalist on campus.

“I think journalism is so important,” Maly said. “It exposes really important issues in our society, and in that way promotes dialogue and change, and so I think that big positive impact it can have — that’s why I like it so much.”

For Svatek, UT’s traditions have molded his experience at the University.

“Both of my parents came here — I’m a second generation Longhorn,” Svatek said. “A lot of the things that they tell me about Longhorn Band are things that are still going on … they went here in the ’80s, and to see 30 years later … those traditions are still alive.”

On top of its tradition, Maly said he thinks UT can offer students educational and post-graduate opportunities no other University could.

“I feel like you can do almost anything if you’re willing to put the work in and really pursue the right things,” Maly said.

Maly said Svatek has proven to a be a good friend and vice presidential candidate, especially with his knowledge of the University.

“He always tries to do the right thing,” Maly said. “He’s a really good friend, if you need anything he’s always there.”

Svatek’s long-time friend Elric Martinez said Svatek has been a reliable friend throughout the years.

“He’s a very, very hard worker, way harder than most people I know,” Martinez said. “He is empathetic. He’ll do anything for his friends.”

Maly has also been an admirable friend, according to Svatek.

“He sacrifices a lot,” Svatek said. “If I ever need something … he already has so much on his plate. Time isn’t really an issue for him. He’s really willing to give and sacrifice himself for others.”

Maly said he has a longhorn tattoo, and his favorite movie is “Anchorman.” Although he said he likes to have fun, he also is dedicated to making a change in the world through his journalism.

“I’m someone that will always help other people out, someone who can have fun and someone who is trying to reach their goals,” Maly said.

Maly’s and Svatek’s campaign, “SG for All,” is based off of the idea of making SG a more transparent and inclusive organization. Their platform points include making transferring between colleges easier, implementing a year-round 24/7 Perry-Castañeda Library and securing the future of SG initiatives, such as Safe Ride and uRide, transportation programs for students.  

“We’re working to communicate our ideas as publicly as possible and make ourselves as available as possible,” Maly said. “We’re going to try to talk to all students.”

To read the candidate profile for Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi, click here.

To read the candidate profile for Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu, click here.

Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

Update: Since this story's original publication, Baylor Morrison and Matthew Normyle withdrew from the Executive Alliance election, citing competing time commitments. To read more about their decision, click here.

Campaigning began Wednesday morning for Student Government Executive Alliance, but the West Mall was void of flyers, yelling and promotional materials.

The candidates for president and vice president — Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi, David Maly and Stephen Svatek, Baylor Morrison and Matthew Normyle, and Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu — have instead expressed a desire to gather student opinion and include more student groups in conversation during the initial stages of the election. 

Click here to view our interactive database of all campus-wide candidates and their platforms.

Jones, a government senior, and Dargahi, an international relations and global studies and Middle Eastern studies senior, said their platform will not be solidified until they sit down with students and hear what students want to be changed on campus. Jones, who currently serves as SG speaker of the assembly, said the campaign, called “Let’s Talk,” is focused on talking with students and not getting their names out just yet.  

“The big thing we want to do is listen,” Jones said. “We want to start a conversation, hear what students want and watch their platform become our platform.”

The duo’s platform points include working to strengthen tradition on campus, helping students “build bridges” for the future and increasing social advocacy and safety. 

Maly, an economics and journalism senior, and Svatek, a civil engineering junior, are focusing their campaign on transparency, which Maly said begins as early as the campaigning process.

“I feel like a lot of students don’t know how Student Government works, what it does, how to get involved [and] if they can get involved,” Maly said.

Their other platform points include easier transfers between colleges at the University, advocacy for lower tuition, easier transportation from Riverside to campus, and keeping the Perry-Castañeda Library open 24/7.

Rotnofsky, a Plan II and linguistics senior, and Mandalapu, a Plan II and economics senior — who are both involved in the satirical publication Texas Travesty — said their campaign will focus on reaching out to the smaller groups on campus. 

Their platform includes turning the UT Tower into premium student condominiums, promising that President William Powers Jr. will no longer be president by the end of the semester, and increasing transparency by mandating that all SG representatives wear cellophane instead of clothes. Mandalapu said the real point of the campaign is to make students realize that anyone can run for SG.

“We’re making a joke out of it, but we’re taking it very seriously,” Rotnofsky said. “We’re all about the campaign, and we’re all about Student Government. You have to love the thing you satirize.”

Morrison, an economics junior, and Normyle, an electrical engineering senior, said their campaign will focus more on spreading their names by word-of-mouth and social media. Both students are involved with Camp Texas.

“We’re funny, personal guys, [and] we’re lighthearted guys,” Morrison said. “We want to [make Student Government] more approachable, more accessible. Humor is something we’re going to use a lot in our campaign, but we’re in it to win it.”

Normyle said the campaign started as a joke, but now he said they are all in. Normyle said the team is going to use its “outsider” status to reach groups on campus.

The candidates will participate in a debate among their competitors March 2. Elections will take place March 4–5.

This article misstated the date of the debate and the dates of the election. It has since been updated.