Lauren Wasson and Tsion Amare won their elections for executive president and executive vice president of Student Government Association, respectively, Friday evening.
Wasson, junior political science and business management double major from Denton, won with 58 percent of votes (723) over Arnold Charles, sophomore political science major from Dubai, who received 524 votes. 10 students abstained.
Amare, junior social work major from Dallas, ran uncontested, winning with 89 percent of the votes (1114), and 143 students abstained.
“I really just have no words,” Wasson said. “It’s like you’ve worked hard for something and it’s really cool when you get to see that come together. It was really fun, especially to win on a team, because we were both were working so hard.”
Wasson and Amare ran on the same ticket with a “Big 6” platform. The primary issues they focused on included: a student wellness program, parking, mental health awareness, school spirit and athletic involvement, internship housing and class projects (specific projects that impact and benefit a students’ respective classification).
Though their administration doesn’t officially start until next semester, Wasson and Amare said they’ll continue working on things they’ve already started, like working with the Medical and Counseling Care Center, figuring out parking app FoPark logistics and internship housing for the second half of summer.
“We’re probably going to be working on [FoPark] really soon because we want to get that rolling over the summer,” Wasson said. “But there’s all sorts of things I’d love to get started on. I’m ambitious.”
Amare said they want to begin achieving their goals of minority representation in the next week as they begin hiring their executive cabinet.
“This week, as applications started closing, I made sure to send the applications to ISA and OMA so that students in those groups know the opportunities that are presented to them,” Amare said. “We want to make sure we’re hiring a diverse staff because there’s capable leaders in every single background.”
The duo will hire five positions – chief of staff, treasurer, chief financial officer, marketing director and secretary.
The new administration officially takes over on Dead Day. From that point forward, Wasson will transition into a summer-long internship required for presidents.
Current Executive President Ty Kelley said he was proud of all of the candidates, including runner-up Arnold Charles, who set a precedent as the first-ever international student to run for office.
“I hope we can continue on a trend of involving all students, especially in leadership roles like SGA promoting their involvement, but overall I think both campaigns went very well,” Kelley said. “They were respectful to each other and they were genuinely happy for each other no matter what the outcome was.”
Kelley said he hopes the duo continues some of the traditions started this year, and improves on the shortcomings of SGA from his term in office.
“I’ll be meeting with her about going over what went well this year and what didn’t and areas that we need to keep improving and areas that we’re really strong in and hopefully communicating that directly to her,” Kelley said. “Hopefully, that will give her more inspiration for what to do next year.”