J.P. Ralston won the runoff for Students’ Association executive treasurer.
Voting for president, vice president and treasurer took place Wednesday and Thursday. After tallying the results Thursday evening, Dylan Benac was declared SA’s next president, with Rodney Johnson securing the position of vice president. However, The election of treasurer was too close to call.
Ralston, junior finance major from Plano, ran against Tyler Eidson and Karsten Goodman for the position in the initial election. Ralston received 558 votes; Eidson received 373 votes; and Goodman received 224 votes. To win, a candidate must earn more than 50 percent of the vote. Ralston earned 49.5 percent of the vote, just short of victory.
Ralston and Eidson squared off Friday in a runoff. A total of 710 students voted. Eidson, sophomore management major from College Station, earned 281 votes; Ralston earned 429, or 60.4 percent, of the vote.
Ralston said he was glad for the campaigning to be over.
“Tired is the best word to describe what I’m feeling right now,” he said. “I’m extremely excited.”
Ralston has served as the COBA representative in SA Congress since enrolling in ACU. He said he was inspired by Carson Henley, who served as treasurer in the 2011-2012 school year.
“That’s kind of where the passion began,” Ralston said. “I really wanted to get involved in the Abilene Christian community.”
Ralston met with Benac and Johnson over the weekend to determine what their cabinet will look like.
“I want to start getting to see and know all the different groups on campus,” Ralston said. “I’m going to make a packet on how to fundraise, and I’m going to work with these groups to do that.”
Three positions still need to be filled in the executive cabinet: executive administrator, chief financial officer and chief communications officer. Hiring will take place over the next few weeks. Benac, junior political science major from Beorne and current SA vice president, said he, Johnson and Ralston discussed what they were looking for in filling these seats.
“I felt like it wasÂ importantÂ for us to know where we stand on hiring the rest of the cabinet,” Benac said. “We are looking for people that work well with the team and can meet the needs of the Students’ Association.”
Ralston intends to eliminate the conference request fund, a line item in the congressional budget set aside for student groups taking trips. This semester, approximately $6,500 was placed in the conference request fund, but over $40,000 was requested.
Joseph Austin, current SA treasurer and election co-chair, said he supported Ralston’s plan. Austin said the little amount of money SA is able to grant specifically in conference requests would best be spent elsewhere.
“I’m talking to departmental advisors and budget coordinators about why they’re not giving money for conferences, because this is a pressing concern for Students’ Association,” said Austin, senior accounting pre-law major from Houston. “I’m going to invite JP in on some of these meetings.”
Austin said he thinks the student body selected the best candidate.
“It’s a tough job,” he said. “I’m just so proud of J.P. I’m really looking forward to seeing him work.”
Austin will remain treasurer until May 2. He will spend a few weeks after that making sure everything is financially in order for next semester.