Ashley Le, Ojani Walthrust elected SA President and Vice President
Students in the Marvin Center erupted into applause Wednesday night upon the announcement of the election of Ashley Le and Ojani Walthrust as SA President and Executive Vice President for the 2018-2019 school year.
Former SA Director of Information Technology and Vice President of Public Affairs, Junior Ashley Le was elected SA President over Imani Ross in a tight race, capturing 50.9% of the over 4,000 ballots cast. Le won by just 230 votes. Le was immediately pulled to her feet and embraced by supporters. She had run on a campaign focused on three central tenets: community empowerment, diversity inclusion, and intentional collaboration.
Sophomore Ojani Walthrust was elected Executive Vice President, capturing almost 71% of the vote. Walthrust has been a senator for the last year, representing the Elliot School of International Affairs. Walthrust captured a landslide following the recent scandal with EVP candidate Brady Forrest, who was not at the JEC results event.
In the only contested senate race, the new Elliot School of International Affairs undergraduate senators will be Rilind Abazi, Claire Bechtel, and Amy Martin. In races for several uncontested seats, the JEC announced that several write-ins would take office after they had been contacted, accepted the posts, and been through academic background checks.
Student referendums focused on adding an 18th credit, giving voting rights for first-year senators, and creating a Vice President of Sustainability for the SA cabinet passed by wide margins. The 18th credit referendum in particular secured a colossal 96% of the vote. The programming board's referendum on creating a $1 per tuition hour activity fee failed by 56% of the vote.
This year's election highlighted the difficulty the SA has faced in getting candidates to seek senate seats, after many seats were won by write-ins and otherwise were uncontested. Six candidates were elected to six senates in the largest GW undergraduate school, the Columbian College, without any registered opposition.
Total turnout for the election was reported to be a surprisingly high 4,187 votes.
*Updated March 29, 2018 to reflect updated turnout numbers released by the GW JEC*
Originally published by Evan Bennett at gw.therival.news on 3.29.18
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