Gurbani Singh (18B) will serve as Student Government Association (SGA) president and Cassidy Schwartz (18C) will serve as College Council (CC) president for the 2017-2018 academic school year, according to the Elections Board. Natasha Armstrong (18B) and Naman Jain (18C) will serve as SGA executive vice president and CC vice president, respectively. All candidates except Singh ran uncontested for their positions.
Elections Board Chair Betty Zhang (20C) announced the results through an all-Emory email at 7:43 a.m on April 1.
In addition to voting for candidates, students answered a question considering replacing the two-day fall break with a two-day reading period in the fall semester. Of these 1,947 students who voted, 1,411 answered that they would not prefer a two-day reading period over a two-day fall break.
Singh and Armstrong — current SGA executive vice president and representative at-large, respectively — campaigned on a joint ticket for the SGA presidency and vice presidency. The party ticket received 1,325 out of 1,816 votes, or 73 percent, besting SGA outsider Nilang Shah (18C) for the SGA presidency by 1,175 votes. In the election, 341 students voted “no confidence” for both Singh and Shah.
“I am hopeful that through my work ethic and dedication to the Emory community up to this point and next year, that those who voted ‘no confidence’ will realize that I want nothing but the best for our students,” Armstrong wrote in an email to the Wheel.
Armstrong hopes to work towards diversity and equity as one of her primary goals for the year.
“I will be meeting with the presidents of organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Black Student Alliance (BSA), the Latino Student Organization (LSO), the Asian Student Organization (ASO), the African Student Association (ASA), the Indian Cultural Exchange (ICE) and others in conjunction with the Diversity and Equity Committee on both the undergraduate and graduate levels to discuss issues of funding and institutionalized support from administration in order to develop a plan of action for Fall 2017,” she wrote.
Singh did not respond to request for comment by press time.
Shah, who received 8 percent of the votes for the position of SGA president, named the process “amusing,” claiming that although he knew Singh would win, he felt that there needed to be some “opposition for the sake of opposition.”
Shah said that he hopes for change in the SGA election system.
“It is in many ways very poorly reflective of the situation as a whole [if] you have the highest position [in student government] uncontested and the only person to contest it is somebody with no experience,” Shah said. “Hopefully next year something else might happen [under Singh’s leadership], but I doubt it.
Schwartz, currently serving as CC vice president, won 936 votes in favor and 196 votes of no confidence, securing her position as CC president.
Schwartz hopes to focus on helping students through writing legislation to update the monetary policy.
“I think a quick and important change in the monetary policy [would be] to help students so they don’t have to make out of pocket expenses especially when fundraising,” Schwartz said. “The assumption that every student can make that out-of-pocket expense is not an inclusive one.”
The CC president will work with Naman Jain (18C), who won the position of CC executive vice president. Jain ran unopposed, garnering 869 votes in favor and 232 votes of no confidence.
Aaina Pahwa (19C) was elected Residence Hall Association (RHA) president, with 1,096 votes in favor and 294 votes of no confidence.
Grace Cleland (18B) will serve as BBA Council president, after serving as SGA representative this past year. She captured 238 votes in favor and 28 votes of no confidence.
Emory’s 7,591 undergraduate students were eligible to cast a vote online between 8 p.m. March 29 and 8 p.m. March 31.