Emily Solomon, a freshman visual and media arts major, will be the Student Government Association’s president for the upcoming school year after receiving 12 votes, out of 112 total, in the election two weeks ago. Solomon, who served as the executive assistant to the president this year, was offered the presidency after the top two vote-getters declined the position.
Navidra Hardin, a sophomore political communication major, ran a write-in campaign and received the most votes, 58. Angelika Romero, a junior journalism major who ran and won a write-in campaign for senior class president, was the runner-up with 16 votes.
Solomon did not immediately agree to accept the position, partially due to the low number of votes she received.
“There was a sort of initial doubt surrounding the fact that I only got 12 votes,” Solomon said. “But at the end of the day, I have spent this past year doing everything I can for this school.”
The SGA constitution prohibits the elections commissioner from being a balloted candidate while holding the position. Solomon served as the elections commissioner; however, she was a write-in and did not ask for votes, she said.
“There was nothing from me that could have been construed to be a campaign,” she said. “This was not something I had in mind.”
Current SGA President Paul Almeida said that he, Associate Dean of Students Sharon Duffy, and SGA Chief Justice Shekinah-Glory Beepat made the decision that Solomon’s win was ethical.
According to Almeida, a senior political communication and marketing communication double major, in the event that the candidate with the majority of votes declines the presidency, the next two highest will run against each other. However, because Romero also declined, Solomon was offered the presidency.
Hardin told the Beacon that he declined the presidency this year because he accepted a position with the Human Rights Campaign as a diversity intern.
Romero said she considered the position, but decided to accept the class of 2015 presidency instead.
“Being SGA president was not part of my initial goal,” she said.
Solomon said she had considered running for president for the 2014-2015 academic year, but feels her role in SGA this year gave her the background to be president.
“Because the executive assistant position is so very much behind the scenes, it escapes a lot of people’s notice,” Solomon said. “I’m very well qualified for this in the sense that I worked directly under the person whose role I’m fulfilling next year.”
Almeida interviewed and chose Solomon to be his executive assistant partway through the fall semester, he said.
“She’s done every task I’ve assigned her and gone above and beyond,” he said. “She already knows how the position [of president] functions, so she’s really on track to succeed next year.”
Solomon turned in her election packet April 11, officially accepting the role as president.
“I’m not doing this for the title or any perceived power that comes with the role,” she said. “I’m doing this for the students.”