Fernández, Najafi, Gladden and Behle elected to 2018-2019 SG executive board

1,345 students voted in election, a major drop from last year

Fernández, Najafi, Gladden and Behle elected to 2018-2019 SG executive board

The 2018-2019 Student Government executive board. From left to right: Alex Behle, Valentina Fernández, Gisselle Gladden and Leela Najafi. 

Valentina Fernández, a junior political science major, will serve as the student government president for the 2018-2019 academic year. She won about 44 percent of the total unofficial vote count, SG Elections Commissioner Jacob DeGoes said Friday night.

“I was not expecting this,” Fernández said after the results were announced. “This was such a close race. Everyone I ran against put in so much work and I’m just so happy that people believed in me and supported me, and I can’t wait to work together with everyone.”

Fernández will be joined on the SG executive board by sophomore Leela Najafi as vice president, junior Gisselle Gladden as comptroller and sophomore Alex Behle as secretary.

1,345 students voted in this year’s election, DeGoes said. That’s about 55 percent of last year’s turnout, when 2,436 students voted in the spring SG election.

Fernández defeated sophomore Jarryd Delaney and junior Sam Rogers, who was disqualified from the race earlier Friday for using his role as president of the Residence Hall Association to send a campaign email to 1,245 students.

In a decision issued at a special Senate meeting Friday, the SG Judicial Board recommended that Rogers be disqualified, calling the evidence that he obtained a RHA email list “unquestionable.” The Senate ultimately agreed, voting to certify the election results but to disqualify Rogers in order to avoid having a special election.

At the announcement of the results in the Tavern, the newly elected members of the executive board expressed excitement for the upcoming year as leaders.

“I am overjoyed and I can’t wait to follow through on everything I promised,” Najafi said. “Make sure to hold me accountable because I’ll always be there.”

Gladden thanked those who voted for her, including her friends studying abroad.

“I’m speechless,” Gladden said. “I really look forward to working with everyone. Thank you to all my friends here who voted.”

Behle, who ran unopposed, echoed Gladden in thanking the students who voted for him.

“I’m ecstatic to start working alongside the new team,” Behle said.

Fernández said she is looking forward to taking over as president. The official transition will take place in May.

“I feel really proud of the campaign we had from the beginning to the end,” she said. “This sounds cheesy, but I just can’t wait to transition and I can’t wait to work.”


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