Macomb junior Justin Gawronski was elected to be the next president of the Student Government Association with 37 percent of 2,046 votes, with Alma junior Anna Dvorak as his vice president.
Gawronski and Dvorak received 775 votes in the election, defeating the second place ticket, Romeo senior Kevin Richmond and his vice presidential candidate Andover senior Scott Cooke, who received 22 percent, with 447 votes.
Three other tickets also ran. Hesperia senior Killian Richeson and Schoolcraft sophomore Shane McGoff received 20 percent, 398 votes. Warren senior Connor Gallagher and Carleton junior Andrew Clark came in fourth with 13 percent, 265 votes. Sparta junior Spencer McKellar and Fenton sophomore Sean Rositano received last place at 9 percent, with 181 votes.
Although Gawronski indicated he was poised to incorporate many small changes to make the SGA efficient, he said his initial focus would be to transition the SGA from one administration to another.
“I want to really make the transition as smooth as possible,” Gawronski said. “I want business as usual. I want committees to keep doing what they are doing. I want the legislative bodies to keep working on what they have been doing. I want to keep the SGA effective in this transition.”
Current SGA President, Vincent Cavataio, a Shelby Township senior, said he thought Gawronski and Dvorak were a great choice by the student body and have the tools necessary to effectively run the SGA.
“Justin and Anna come from diverse backgrounds, and they are heavily involved with the university,” Cavataio said. “They know how the SGA works, how the college’s administration works and most importantly, how the students work.”
Cavataio said the new administration faced many issues coming into the new position.
“They’ll need to continue to focus on moving all the major signings and audits to an online format,” Cavataio said. “They’ll also need to focus on the sustainability committee and continue to bring that committee into fruition.”
The 2,046 students who voted in the election represented one of the largest voter turnouts in SGA history, 1554 more students than the 542 who voted in last year’s election, which was only 242 votes more than the minimum for the election to count.
SGA Elections Director Christopher Armelagos, a Milford graduate student, said part of the reason for the heavily increased voter turnout was the decision to switch the voting platform from the more complicated social platform Orgsync back to https://vote.cmich.edu, which allowed students vote easily.
Armelagos said the election is an indication of increased SGA relevance.
“Last year we had a little over 500 people vote in the election; this year we quadrupled that number,” Armelagos said. “I think that qualifies as shocking and really indicates increased student interest in the SGA.”
Armelagos also said the race itself indicated increased participation in the SGA.
“The election went great,” Armelagos said. “We never had this many senators run; we have never had as many treasurers run before.”
Richmond said he was disappointed by the students’ decision.
“By electing Justin and Anna, who are so closely interconnected with the inner workings of the SGA, the students are returning to the status quo, which has excluded several groups from the SGA,” Richmond said. “Our ticket was the ticket that brought up relevance, and the rest of the platforms followed. Those platforms, including Justin and Anna, are not prepared to make SGA truly relevant to campus.”
The presidency was not the only position at stake during the election. Tony Grettenberger, a Lansing senior, won the treasurer’s position with 41 percent of the vote, and all 16 senator seats were uncontested.
The new SGA president will be formally announced at 5 p.m. Monday in the Lake St. Clair Room of the Bovee University Center, with the presidential inauguration being held immediately after.
Editor’s Note: This story has been edited for accuracy.