By Frank George
Nearly two weeks after the polls closed, the results of the Student Government Association elections have finally been released: Ashley Orr will become SGA’s next president, and Jacob Schriner-Briggs will continue to serve as the association’s executive vice president.
“Jake and I are incredibly excited to hear that we have won the election,” Orr said. “We’re just very excited, and we can’t wait to serve and address any concerns that students may have.”
Orr and Schriner-Briggs — who beat out their opponent Nick Chretien and his running mate Ciara Andrews by 209 votes — said they’ve already began planning for next year, indicating that student opinion will “fuel” their agenda.
At the top of this agenda are the following plans: filling vacancies on SGA’s body and establishing lines of communication between SGA and downtown business owners, the university’s deans and administrators and local media outlets.
Orr said she also expects to tackle long-term projects over the course of the upcoming academic year — explaining that adding water bottle refill stations throughout campus, developing the Student Academic Success Initiative and increasing funding for student groups will remain priorities during her tenure.
Schriner-Briggs echoed Orr’s sentiment.
“I’m really excited,” Schriner-Briggs said. “Ashley and I are … excited to keep the ball rolling and to start moving on the things we talked about while we were campaigning.”
Schriner-Briggs also acknowledged, though, that “there was some suspense built in” to this year’s election.
Contributing to this suspense was the lengthy ballot counting procedure — a process drawn-out at least partially by the filing of grievances. This year, 14 grievances were filed, but the Elections Committee ruled that only five of these 14 grievances warranted a hearing.
Ultimately, only one grievance regarding the posting of campaign material to a university safety board resulted in the deduction of votes, taking just one percent — or 11 votes — from the Orr & Schriner-Briggs ticket.
“We were really excited to see that the grievances didn’t have that large of an effect,” Orr said.
Chretien responded positively to the results of the election and offered congratulatory remarks to Orr and Schriner-Briggs.
“Ciara and I would have preferred to win,” Chretien said. “We thought it was a great experience, and in the end, we didn’t do enough to win. We congratulate Jake and Ashley, and we know that Student Government is in great hands for the next academic year. We wish them the best.”
Additional reporting by Liam Bouquet.