Elected candidate for SGA president declines seat

by Martha Schick / Beacon Staff • April 10, 2014

Navidra Hardin, a sophomore political communication major, received the most write-in votes for the Student Government Association executive president seat, according to an email sent to him by Emily Solomon, executive assistant, on April 4, obtained by the Beacon. 

There were no balloted candidates, so all Hardin had to do was turn in an election packet and state his intent to accept the presidency by April 8. However, he said he won’t be turning in a packet. Instead, he’s taking a paid internship.

There were 115 votes cast for president, according to current SGA President Paul Almeida, a senior political communication and marketing communication double major, representing 4 percent of the student body eligible to vote.  Almeida did not have a breakdown of votes beyond the total.

If there is another candidate who received write-in votes, they will be offered the presidency. Members of the current SGA executive board would not comment on if there were other write-in candidates to take Hardin’s place.

Hardin said he will not pursue the presidency because he will accept an internship at the Human Rights Campaign as a diversity intern. He said he found out that he got an offer during the weekend after elections were held from April 2 to 3. 

The Human Rights Campaign is an organization that works for equality for the LGBT community in the US.

“[The internship] is something that aligns with my passions. I’d be serving the community at large … and it’s also paid,” Hardin said. “One of my platforms [in the SGA campaign] was low income students, and this is one of those situations where I, as a lower income student, have to make a decision.” 

 Hardin said the time commitment required by both the SGA and the internship forced him to put one above the other.

“One thing I don’t want to do is a half-assed job as a president,” he said. 

Although he will not hold a position next year, he said he would consider running again.

“I am not ruling out going for the presidency my senior year,” he said.