North Texas Daily

SGA announces 2022-2023 election winners

SGA announces 2022-2023 election winners

SGA announces 2022-2023 election winners
April 03
13:04 2022

The results of the Student Government Association elections for the 2022-2023 school year are in, with several new members incoming alongside returning incumbents.

After voting ended on March 31, the presidential election winners were announced on April 1, with presidential candidate Jermaine “JT” Turner and running mate Aalyhia Shillow securing 96.4 percent of the vote.

“We’re ready to hit the ground running,” Turner said.

The senate results were posted on the SGA’s various social media on April 2, after being certified. Due to the senate’s new seat allocations legislation officially passing with over 90 percent approval for each amendment from the student body, most colleges now have two representatives while larger colleges have four.

“SGA is moving in a way that we’re focused on the student body as a whole and getting back to that,” Turner said.

The College of Education will be represented by Lindsay Kisivuli and Shallie Rasin after they secured 54 and 38 percent of the votes respectively. In the College of Engineering, Senator Andy McDowall will keep his seat, now accompanied by Chimara Okeke. The COE’s two remaining seats are open for future senators to be appointed to later this year.

“I want to thank everyone who participated in the election,” McDowall said. “When you participate in an election you participate in the student voice on campus.”

The COE originally had five seats but was reduced to four under the approved constitutional changes. Despite losing a senator, McDowall said the college still has more overall representation.

“Before, [the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences] was [11] seats — that’s 50 percent of the senate, realistically,” McDowall said. “We gained the opportunity to have more representation even though we took a loss of actual seats.”

The two College of Information candidates both won 100 percent of the vote, electing Tingkai Guan and Peyton McFarlain as the representatives.

Like the COE, the CLASS was awarded four senators. Incumbents Ethan Gillis and Kaylen Ruiz will keep their current seats and are joined by Carmen Collins and Angelique Farnham after securing 49 percent and .01 percent of the votes respectively.

Gillis found out about his re-election victory, with 60 percent of the vote, like the rest of the student body — through social media.

“I was freaking out, refreshing the [SGA’s] Instagram,” Gillis said.

Under a new executive team headed by Turner and Shillow, Gillis said he looks forward to upholding the campaign’s promises and continuing to advocate for undergraduate students across campus with his three fellow CLASS senators.

“I’m very excited,” Gillis said. “It’s going to be a really thrilling year.”

The Mayborn School of Journalism secured its first independent senator since it was folded into CLASS in fall 2019 with Ebony Kennedy as its representative. The second seat is still open.

The College of Science’s two seats were secured by Eben Chandler, winning 62 percent of the vote, and Chelsea Nichols, who won 63 percent.

The College of Visual Arts and Design gave one of its two senate seats to Nissy “Bamby” Botembe, with the second one remaining open. The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science gave its two seats to Zachary Li and Aneesh Mazumder after both won 97 percent of the vote.

“[TAMS has] always had one seat,” Turner said. “Now they have a better representation for their school.”

Despite low voter turnout across the election week, with 594 votes cast in the presidential race, Turner said the results are still indicative of the overall student body.

“It is representative of the colleges and the student body that did vote because they […] took the time out, they knew what was going on, they wanted to vote,” Turner said.

One possible factor regarding the low voter turnout could have been the multiple unopposed senate races, said Turner.

Voter turnout from the student body helps prevent a “silent majority” on campus where the university administration keeps to themselves and does not involve students, said McDowall.

“The more students that participate in an election, the less the university feels it has the right to operate unilaterally,” McDowall said.

The four College of Business seats, two seats for the New College on the Frisco campus and five at-large seats available under the now-approved referendum will be available for appointments in the fall semester along with various executive board applications.

“I’m just very excited for these new faces and what they’re going to bring to the table for SGA,” Turner said.

Editor’s note: In light of full transparency this election season, the North Texas Daily would like to disclose possible conflicts of interest in this year’s election. The current editor-in-chief, Maria Lawson, collaborates in campus organizations with members of the Turner-Shillow ticket. However, for this reason, she has remained independent from this year’s election coverage.

Featured Image: Debate moderator and Election Board Commissioner Bakhtawar Yasir (middle) asks a question during the SGA presidential debate on March 29, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

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Alex Reece

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