North Texas Daily

Brown, Brown win runoff SGA election by 34 votes

Brown, Brown win runoff SGA election by 34 votes

April 23
22:45 2013

Joshua Friemel / Managing Editor

Fifteen days after the initial Student Government Association election was held, pre-political science sophomore Zach Brown and pre-communication sophomore Anthony Brown won the runoff election by 34 votes.

The two will assume presidential and vice presidential duties on June 1.

The total number of students that voted increased from 8 percent of the student body in the initial election to 8.5 percent in the runoff election.

Zach Brown said he felt as if a weight was lifted from his shoulders after finding out the closeness of the election.

“Thirty-four votes is an insanely close election,” he said. “And that shows how important every vote is. I hope everybody realizes that their vote really does count.”

Results from the runoff election were supposed to be released on April 15, but an appeal filed to the UNT Supreme Court by vice presidential hopeful communications junior Jake Dionne delayed the publication of the results. Dionne ran with sociology junior Precious Femi-Ogunyemi.

In his appeal, Dionne said that Brown had allegedly used Willis Library, a location he thought was neutral ground, to get votes from students. He argued that if the runoff election was decided by more than 100 votes, then the library didn’t alter the results. He also said that Brown had an unfair advantage if 100 or fewer votes decided the election.

The court voted 4-1 to uphold the runoff results.

Brown disagreed with Dionne’s argument.

“To say that the library was a make or break battleground state in that election is almost semi-ridiculous,” Brown aid. “The library is not going to make or break anything.”

Femi-Ogunyemi said that Brown’s statement is “bold” and “false” and that she and Dionne were “literally robbed.” She does not plan on being involved with SGA in the future. She also said since Willis Library is the only building on campus that is open for 24 hours, Brown was able to get more votes.

“Because my opponent had an access to an endless population of students, I do think that did propel him to clinch the election,” she said.

Current president Rudy Reynoso said the candidates could have gotten some of the 92 percent of the student vote elsewhere.

“It didn’t come down to Willis, it more came down to personal perseverance as far as going out and getting votes,” he said. “It really does come down to the actual candidates and how much they wanted it.”

Reynoso said he has already begun to write election revisions to the current bylaws to have a more simple and practical understanding of the rules.

“Moving forward now, we’ve learned so that something like this won’t happen again in next year’s election,” he said.

From now until when Brown and Brown take over on June 1, they will hire a five-person executive board and shadow Reynoso and current vice president Justin Wood to learn the responsibilities as the heads of SGA. Brown said he could merge some of the executive board positions to help save funds.

He also said he is going to work on his two biggest platforms in his campaign.

“We are going to start to work on getting the Mean Green Gives Back program finalized and also getting the away bussing system for football games finalized,” he said. “We want to make sure we get those things done.”

Brown said he wants to give back to the students while in office.

“A lot of the time, maybe SGA is seen as an organization that doesn’t physically give back,” he said. “We want to increase spirit and pride at UNT. And if we can do that and even get a little increase in those, then we will call it a successful year.”

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