By: Andrew Koch ~Editor-in-Chief~
After another two-week campaigning season of thumping speakers on the Yard and brightly-colored T-shirts, students have elected a new trio of Student Government Association (SGA) executive officers. Sophomore Andrew Redd and juniors Fare Olagbaju and Josh DeVincenzo will be sworn in as the SGA President, Legislative Vice President and Administrative Vice President, respectively.
The winning ticket, known in the campaign as AFJ, campaigned on improving diversity representation on campus and creating a more welcoming campus environment for students who currently don’t feel included.
“Our driving force was our supporters. We couldn’t have done it without them,” Redd said in an email. “AFJ ‘15 is glad that people got involved and cared about the issues we brought up in our platform.”
Redd said that he, Olagbaju and DeVincenzo have already met with Taj Smith, director of the Multicultural, Gender, and Women’s Center, to talk about the diversity inclusion panel, a key point of the ticket’s platform.
AFJ was one of just two tickets in this year’s race. JMJ, the other ticket, featured juniors Jake Haigis and Megan Brault and sophomore Jack Bainbridge.
“We want to thank (JMJ). They are incredible people that care deeply about this university,” Redd said.
“Thomas, Shelby and I would like to congratulate AFJ on their win and look forward to working with them in the coming weeks,” SGA President Colleen Reynolds said. “For me personally, the SGA elections are always a fresh reminder of what issues face our campus and how influential the student voice can be.”
Organizers said that this year’s campaign season was successful.
“We had two highly qualified tickets running who understood the culture of the school and had a real handle on what problems were facing Xavier students,” Stephen Coulter, chair of Xavier’s Board of Elections (BoE), said in an email. “Both tickets demonstrated a high level of respect for themselves, each other and the rules and policies of the university. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of candidates to run this year.”
The election drew in 1,346 votes, representing roughly 29 percent of Xavier’s undergraduate population of 4,600 students.
While this figure is lower than that of last year’s election, Coulter said that the BoE “remained optimistic” about student engagement in the election. Last year’s SGA election had a record turnout, which Coulter attributed to a larger number of campaign teams.
The 2014 election featured winning ticket Reynolds, Thomas Edney and Shelby Alig (“CST”) who defeated three other tickets. In that election, campaigning events were canceled after BoE issued campaigning violations to multiple tickets. According to the BoE, neither of the 2015 tickets had any reported campaign violations.
The new executives will be sworn in at a ceremony on April 12. Because of changes to the SGA election cycle approved last year, the AFJ administration will serve a shortened term that will end on Dec. 31. SGA executives for the 2016 calendar year will be elected in November.