On Friday evening, results for the 2021 SGA election were announced in a virtual Zoom meeting — and the Forward campaign triumphed.
This was the second election season taking place during a global pandemic, so this naturally altered some aspects of students’ campaigns. However, this did not stop them from putting their best efforts forward.
The three campaigns in the running during this election were EMPOWER, Forward and The Volunteer Way. Each campaign promised a fresh start and new ideas should they be elected, but it will be Forward’s job to put these promises to the test.
Each of the Top Four candidates come from the Forward campaign.
Claire Donelan is the newly elected student body president, Reginald Williams II is the newly elected student body vice president, Simon Jolly is the newly elected executive treasurer and Nia Myrthil is the newly elected Student Services Director.
At the virtual event, SGA Election Commissioner Jazmin Garrett announced the results by sharing her screen and scrolling to reveal each winner. The only seat that has not yet been declared is the off-campus seat due to a technological issue.
“On our end, we are unable to pull the results for the [off-campus] seat, but we are working with the tech team of the voting platforms company to resolve this issue. The earliest that we can hear back from them is on Monday. ... I do apologize in advance, but I hope you are all understanding. It wouldn’t be 2021 or 2020 without tech issues,” Garrett said.
Further, this election season produced fewer votes than last year, even though both years were affected by the pandemic.
“... this year [there were] 4,798 votes. Just to put that into perspective, last year we had 5,962 and in 2019 we had 7,459. So, it is evident that COVID has taken a toll, but we can only hope to grow stronger in the future, especially with things being back in person next year,” Garrett said.
Claire Donelan won student body president with 2,005 votes, leaving Walker Hoover from The Volunteer Way just short with 1,777 votes and Aubrey Robinson from EMPOWER with 971 votes.
Reginald Williams II won student body vice president with 1,960 votes, and yet again The Volunteer Way was close behind with Lindsey Lankau receiving 1,833 votes and EMPOWER receiving 954 votes for Peter Mansfield.
Simon Jolly won executive treasurer with 2,755 votes and Brian Lung from EMPOWER received 1,711 votes.
Lastly, Nia Myrthil won Student Services Director with 1,947 votes, Isabel Spangler from The Volunteer Way was close behind with 1,863 votes and Adejah Mack from EMPOWER received 931 votes.
Candidates from The Volunteer Way received all seven Haslam College of Business seats, while nine out of 10 of the College of Arts of Sciences seats went to Forward, with the last seat going to The Volunteer Way.
Both East Area and Central Area had two seats to be filled, but only one candidate was in the running, so they received these seats.
Garrett notified viewers that an email will be sent out with election results when things are finalized, but the off-campus seat will not be declared until Monday at the earliest.