For the most part, it was a good day to be a part of the United Leaders ticket, scoring three of the four executive seats up for grabs in this year’s SGA elections.
Sophomore Ryan Baerwalde beat out junior Junior Jackson in the race for president, scoring 65.2-percent of the vote.
Understandably, Baerwalde was thrilled about winning the seat.
“I’m honestly just so excited,” Baerwalde said. “I am really pumped about being able to step into this position. I’ve got a ton of great ideas for the student body, I know I’m going to make a fantastic president, and I’m really going to be able to bring the pride back to VSU.”
Baerwalde also pointed out what he intends to do first as the new SGA president.
“Probably the first thing would be the transition,” Baerwalde said. “I really want to be able to carry on a lot of what Graham [Davis, outgoing SGA president] has been doing, and I really look forward to working closely with him to carry on a lot of policies that we have been building up, and definitely work towards taking care of recent issues that have popped up, such as sheet signs being banned from pine trees. So really just want to hit the ground running with my big ideas as far as taking care of the big issues on campus, with parking and the internet, and those things.”
His running mate for vice president, sophomore Jordan Lee, was not as fortunate in his race, getting narrowly beaten out by junior Amber Worthy, who scored 52.1-percent of the vote. It turned out to be the only blemish in the United Leaders ticket’s record.
“It feels pretty good, and I’m ready for this semester to be over,” Worthy said. “Then I’m getting ready to work for the fall.”
Worthy also had plans for what she intended to do first as SGA vice president.
“(I plan to) do more PR with the senators and the student body, so we’re going to do a lot including the students,” Worthy said.
The race for secretary went down to a runoff between junior Kieya Smith and United Leaders candidate Kelly Hessler, another junior, who was declared the winner with 69.9 percent of the vote Wednesday morning.
The race went to a runoff after none of the candidates scored a majority of the vote during the first round of elections, so Hessler and Smith, being the top two vote getters, went to a runoff.
“I am honored and thrilled to have been selected by my peers to represent VSU,” Hessler said in an email on Wednesday. “I don’t think it will really hit me until I see the previous executive board move out of their offices and the new executive board move in.”
Hessler also expressed worry when the runoff was announced.
“I got a little worried because Kieya Smith and I are very similar with our involvement on campus and I needed to make sure that I got the word out to everyone I knew at VSU,” Hessler said. “It’s hard to find out where you stand in a runoff because you only have a limited amount of time to do all the campaigning that took weeks in just a 24 hour period.”
Hessler, too, also had plans for her first action as secretary.
“The first thing I plan to do as SGA’s new secretary is let the students know that I am going to create an open communication environment, keeping them in the know on what is going on within our student body,” Hessler said.
In the race for comptroller, junior Hassanat Oshodi scored a decisive victory over freshman Christopher Hawkins, with 60.5 percent of the vote.
Oshodi was also excited about her victory, and expressed such.
“It feels great, and I’m just speechless,” Oshodi said. “I’m just really excited. I can’t wait for the year to start.”
In addition, she also pointed out her individual plans.
“The first thing I plan to do is to change the Flex [accounts], because the [maximum] amount is supposed to be $25, and I just really want to change that, so before I do anything, I just want to make sure that’s changed first.”
When the results were announced, SGA elections commissioner Rob Thrower praised the candidates of the executive positions for what was a very civil campaign.
“I appreciate everybody participating this year not causing any havoc,” Thrower said. “This is one of the smoothest elections we’ve been a part of.”