Legal studies and political science major Zachary Broughton, who has served in the Student Government Association since his freshman year, was elected as president of the SGA last night. Junior political science major Emily Hajjar, who ran on the “Make Students Matter” ticket with Broughton, will serve as the vice president.
Junior accounting major Megan Kingston, who ran on a different ticket, won the student trustee position.
Only 13.66 percent of the undergraduate student body voted in the president and vice president elections, according to the official Spring Elections Report. The student trustee elections saw an even smaller turnout with only 11.05 percent voting. Since the student trustee represents both undergraduate and graduate students, both groups are allowed to vote.
The “Make Students Matter” ticket received 51 percent of the vote, defeating the “Turn Up Your Voice” ticket by 131 votes.
Junior public health major Darlene Vu was the presidential candidate of the “Turn Up Your Voice” campaign, and Preston Davis, junior English and sociology major, was the vice presidential candidate.
Broughton, who is the current secretary of finance for the SGA and has served on the body as a senator for the past two years, promised during the SGA debates to focus on keeping UMass affordable by supporting the 50/50 state funding plan, making student parking cheaper and more efficient, setting reasonable construction schedules on campus and fostering better communication with the Graduate Student Senate, the Faculty Senate and UMass administration.
The campaign website – makingstudentsmatter.weebly.com — also said the duo would work to implement a Student Bill of Rights, increase support for registered student organizations, agencies and student businesses, improve campus security, defend students to the town of Amherst and lift the ban on alcohol at student events.
Kingston received 50.72 percent of the vote for student trustee, a sizable lead over her opponents. Senior Garrett Gowen, currently the SGA’s vice president, who campaigned with Broughton and Hajjar, received 41.40 percent of the vote. Gowen was eligible to run for student trustee, because he is returning to UMass in the fall as a graduate student. Junior David Morin, the sole independent candidate, came out with 6.29 percent of the vote.
Kingston’s ticket emphasized increasing the voice, engagement and empowerment of students. In her campaign, Kingston called for making UMass more affordable and accessible. She was in favor of a two-year tuition freeze, halting further fee increases and supported the 50/50 state funding plan.
In addition to working as a processing analyst at a financial institution State Street, located in Hadley, Kingston works as a residential assistant on a social justice-themed floor of Washington Tower, where she serves as a representative on the bargaining committee of the RA union. In 2012, she helped negotiate a $1.3 million raise for RAs, a feat Kingston repeatedly touted throughout her campaign and mentioned in Tuesday’s SGA election debates.
She is also the treasurer of the Isenberg School of Management Undergraduate Leadership Council (ULead).
She did not serve in any position on the SGA this year.
This year’s non-binding referendum question on continuing the existence of the UMass MassPIRG chapter’s funding through a $11 per student per semester waivable fee passed overwhelmingly with 57.84 percent of voter support. It was added to the ballot voluntarily by the local chapter.
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