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Michael Luecke, Cameron Combs elected for 2020-2021 SGA President, Vice President with record low turnout

Michael Luecke, Cameron Combs elected for 2020-2021 SGA President, Vice President with record low turnout

Michael Luecke, Cameron Combs elected for 2020-2021 SGA President, Vice President with record low turnout
April 29
17:01 2020

Michael Luecke and Cameron Combs are elected as the Student Government Association’s 2020-2021 president and vice president with voter turn out down 3.6 percent from last year’s election.

Luecke and Combs were elected by 584 votes or 61 percent of the total vote. 1,072 students, or 3 percent of the total undergraduate population, voted.

While most students not being as connected to campus due to COVID-19 could have impacted turnout, these results follow an overall decline in participation seen in the past few years. 1,897 students voted in the 2019 election, 2,809 students voted in the 2017 election and 3,320 students voted in the 2016 election. 

The pair ran their SOAR campaign on improving SGA’s relationship with the student body, restructuring SGA to better serve students and senators and working closely with Transportation Services.

Luecke said when his presidency begins, he wants to first work with Transportation Services and Dining Services to improve students’ experiences.

“I would love to do work with Parking and Transportation Services in order to make sure that parking passes aren’t being oversold and those are offered to students,” Luecke said. “I would also like to work with dining services to implement a food-on-the-go [service] where we have to-go boxes in the dining halls. I would love to be able to do a thing where students can donate their meal swipes to other students in need.”

Luecke also said he wants to use his administration to improve voter turnout and student participation in SGA events.

“When students don’t see things that are actually benefiting them and that are actually going to help them out, they kind of lose trust in SGA,” Luecke said. “We’re there to represent those students. I feel like once we start getting some things done that students can actually see, a lot more people will be regaining trust within SGA.”

Combs said the first initiatives he wants to take as vice president are related to increasing outreach.

“I’m trying to come up with some ways to get our numbers up in representation we have with [the] colleges,” Combs said. “Coming up with ways other than just putting out messages on social media, like outreaching to organizations within the business college or within CLASS.”

Candidates Noah Hutchinson and Bakhtawar Yasir received the second-most votes with 261, or 27%. Hutchinson said he will finish out the semester serving as Communications Director for the current administration and then find other avenues outside of SGA to serve the student body.

“I think the biggest thing this election proved is students are ready for change,” Hutchinson said. “They’re ready for an SGA that follows through on the issues that directly affect them. I know SGA will have a lot of obstacles to overcome, but I look forward to the change Michael and Cameron campaigned on and have high hopes for their administration.”

Candidates Ryan Keller and Sophia Vomvoris received 113 votes or 12% of the total vote. Keller said he knows SGA has a harder time reaching out to students than other universities’, but he was surprised to see voter turnout lower than last year.

“We knew going into this election that COVID-19 would play a huge role in limiting how we could reach out to students,” Keller said. “Nonetheless, seeing the results still means that around 1,000 undergraduate students can shape the student life of around 40,000 undergraduate students.”

Keller said he is considering joining SGA again as a senator and is encouraging his running mate to do the same.

“We are very proud of our campaign and appreciate the support and discussion made through the student body on topics such as transportation, housing and mental health that affects their everyday lives,” Keller said. 

In addition to the presidential election, the following 15 senators were elected to seven different colleges:

  • College of Business: Melissa Rwehumbiza, Paola Rojas
  • College of Engineering: Alyissa Sanders
  • College of Health and Public Service: Hector Morales, Casey Jimenez
  • College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences/School of Journalism: Grant Johnson, Ryan Scott, Kelsey Kim, Christopher Williams, Stefania Santos
  • College of Science: David Munoz-Sarabia, Tara Williams, Jordan Gus
  • Honors College: Jermaine “JT” Turner
  • Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science: Navya Chintaman

Graph by Lizzy Spangler

Courtesy Twitter and Jayvisuals

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Brooke Colombo

Brooke Colombo

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