The Rollins Student Government Association (RSGA) presidential election is heading to a runoff between Nchedo Ezeokoli (19PH) and Rosa Abraha (19PH), who received 130 votes (35.33 percent) and 121 votes (32.88 percent), respectively, according to preliminary election results. A runoff election takes place if no candidate garners more than 50 percent of the vote, according to the RSGA Elections Guide.
The third candidate, Mahnoor Mahmood (19PH), was eliminated after she received 24.46 percent or 90 votes.
In her platform, Ezeokoli said she hopes to foster community, increase advocacy, expand education and connect Rollins students to the greater Atlanta and public health community. To increase advocacy, Ezeokoli proposed implementing “semester town halls to discuss student issues and concerns” and introducing “Emory Cafe signage and menu options.” She suggested implementing a buddy program between first- and second-year students and collaborating on an event with the Georgia State University master’s of public health program to connect Rollins to GSU.
Abraha’s platform calls for an increase in interdepartmental and student organization collaboration, better recruitment and retention of minorities, more network opportunities with Emory experts and state health leaders and stronger communication with Rollins faculty.
Another runoff election is taking place for the third social chair position, between Nirmali Shah (19PH) and Teg Uppal (19H), who obtained 44.02 percent and 45.11 percent of the student vote in the preliminary election, respectively.
The presidential runoff election comes in the wake of a contentious campaign season during which an RSGA representative and another Rollins student accused RSGA president Tina Mensa-Kwao (18PH) of abusing her power by deciding to not hold debates for fear of stressing students, and three RSGA presidential candidates’ decided to host a public service event rather than publicly debate. The candidates’ decision was met with opposition.
Ezeokoli declined request for interview, citing the ongoing election campaign as the reason she was unable to do an interview. Abraha and Mahmood did not respond to emails from the Wheel. The Election Guide does not state that candidates were not allowed to speak to the media.
RSGA Vice President Serena Durrani did not respond to the Wheel’s request for the number of no confidence votes by press time.
The runoff election for the RSGA president and third social chair will run from Nov. 7 at 9 a.m. until Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. All terms will begin January 2018, according to RSGA Vice President Serena Durrani (18PH).