Jok, Saldanha, Pillai and Levine elected to 2020-2021 Student Government executive board

Turnout increased by 16.5 percent this year, with 2,265 students voting

Jok, Saldanha, Pillai and Levine elected to 2020-2021 Student Government executive board

Jok, a sophomore in the Kogod School of Business and College of Arts and Sciences, will serve as the SG president, alongside Saldanha, a sophomore in SOC and SPA, who will serve as vice president. Pillai, a sophomore in the School of International Service, will assume the role of secretary, while Levine, a sophomore in the Kogod School of Business, will become the comptroller.

"I am passionate about everything I discussed and worked hard with my campaign team to voice that to the student body,” Jok said in a statement to The Eagle. “It's exciting to hear that it was well-received and that the student body has put their trust in me to be their next president. I will definitely continue working hard and making sure that I accomplish everything I promised.

He also added that he is particularly excited to improve mental health services on campus, increase inclusion of international and transfer students, advocate for the needs of student athletes and implement Title IX and diversity training for every club on campus.

Turnout in the election increased 16.5 percent over last year’s executive board elections, with 2,265 students casting a virtual ballot. Additionally, students overwhelmingly voted yes on a referendum encouraging the Board of Trustees to divest from the fossil fuel industry. 

Jok defeated his opponents, sophomore Eric Brock, junior Joshua Dantzler and sophomore Jeremy Ward, receiving 601 votes. Brock received 375 votes, Dantzler received 564 votes and Ward received 393 votes, respectively. Saldanha defeated her opponent, sophomore Tamir Harper, by a vote of 1,002 to 898. Pillai defeated sophomore Grace Christen by a vote of 1,046 to  631. Justin Levine defeated junior Jacob Robbins by a vote of 864 to 741. 

As Vice President, Saldanha said she’s looking forward to serving the student body and actively seeking out the voices of students. 

“Thank you to everyone who ran and put their ideas forward for students to hear...Thank you to everyone who supported me along the way- I am so grateful and cannot wait to get to work,” Saldanha said. 

Pillai expressed her gratitude for her victory, as well as her excitement to work with her peers.

“My initial reaction was pure excitement,” Pillai said. “I immediately thanked my campaign team and everyone that supported, advocated and guided me throughout this process.”

Levine said the first thing on the list to get started on is the budget and transitioning with current comptroller Bobby Zitzmann. 

“I’m super excited and can’t wait to get to work. I knew this was going to be a nail-biter election, but when the results came out I didn’t believe it,” Levine said.

Despite the fact that candidates were not able to conduct parts of their campaigns in-person as they typically do, the increase in turnout this year is an indication that these limitations did not have an effect on the election. 

kcartelli@theeagleonline.com, nheller@theeagleonline.com

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