Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Timothy Sullivan and Nathalie Amazan win SGA election, Jiya Nair elected student trustee

Sullivan and Amazan won with a total of 1,640 votes
(Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

Timothy Sullivan and Nathalie Amazan have been elected as the president and vice president of the University of Massachusetts’ Student Government Association for the 2018-2019 school year. Sullivan and Amazan have taken the presidential seat with a total of 1,640 votes out of 4,017 casted by the undergraduate student body.

Coming in second place were candidates Tim Conceison and Jake Binnall with 1,253 votes, while Sarah Nordberg and Stephanie Margolis came in last, amounting 844 votes.

“I feel ecstatic, I really feel really happy, like when people ask you ‘What’s your proudest accomplishment in life thus far?’ this is it!” Amazan said in response to the victory.

“We’re finally being recognized for all the work we’ve done for students and it’s because I have Nathalie Amazan right by my side that we ran this election,” Sullivan said. “I have never met a more hardworking person in my life than this woman.”

For the upcoming 2018-2019 school year Sullivan and Amazan plan to create an “SGA that really matters.”

“I want students to feel like they can come into our office and be able to do the work with us; I don’t want people not to know what the SGA is. I don’t want people to think that SGA is a joke,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan and Amazan also plan to work with the Center for Education Policy and Advocacy in hopes of bringing their grassroots organizing tactics to the SGA, and any of their opponents who would like to “elevate” issues such as affordability, sustainability, restorative justice or needs of marginalized students.

Sullivan and Amazan’s win also drew support from the current vice presidential seat of the SGA. Vice President Lily Wallace said that she feels “excited” for the newly appointed president and vice president.

“After winning our president/vice president campaign against them last year, I remember thinking how excited I was for them to run again after having another year under their belt,” Wallace said in an email. “I have watched them all year and been impressed with the work they have accomplished working in CEPA and all over campus.”

According to a statement from Wallace, she and current SGA President Anthony Vitale plan to help transition Sullivan and Amazan into their new role.

“Anthony and I are still in office until the end of March and have many of our projects that we will be finishing up, even though now we are lame ducks. We will be shifting attention to passing the years of institutional knowledge we have to Nat and Timmy to make sure that they are in the best place to take over,” she said in the email.

In response to the recent loss, Jake Binnall, candidate for SGA vice president on the Conceison-Binnall ticket, said he felt “happy with the votes he got.”

“I’m proud of the freshman senators that just got re-elected that were with us, I think that our voice will definitely be continued through them. And we’re not out of the SGA just yet, so we’re going to keep on fighting for what we believe in,” Binnall said.

In hindsight of his ticket’s loss, Binnall believes they could’ve amplified their message more, but looking forward, he hopes that Sullivan and Amazan will work on residence hall policies and support for registered student organizations.

Despite his loss, Binnall says he will still fight to support the student body. He plans to become more involved with RSOs and advocate the SGA’s resources to them.

In addition to Sullivan and Amazan’s election victory, Jiya Nair has been elected as student trustee, gaining a total of 1,255 out of 4,127 votes casted from the undergraduate and graduate student body.

(Caroline O’Connor/Daily Collegian)

“I feel overwhelmed and humbled by the support I have received,” Nair said in an email. “Right now, it hasn’t really sunk in, but I feel incredibly touched by the outpouring love.”

As student trustee, Nair plans to “ground” decision-making in student choice and strengthen community engagement. One of her strongest initiatives she hopes to accomplish is changing the Land Use policy and addressing space usage and student access in the UMass system.

Nair was able to beat out three other candidates: Maximilian Roemer, who came in second with 916 votes, Robert Kearns, who placed third with 657 votes and Kevin Mullen, who came in last with 420 votes.

According to a statement released by Kearns, following Nair’s victory he plans to offer her his assistance in supporting undergraduate and graduate students at UMass. Kearns also says he will still continue to fight for issues such as affordability, food insecurity and public transportation.

In terms of voter turnout, according to the SGA election report skeleton, 17.8 percent of the UMass undergraduate student body voted this election year toward the presidential seat, a three percent decrease from last year’s election, and 14.5 percent of the UMass undergraduate and graduate student body voted toward the student trustee seat.

Alvin Buyinza can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @abuyinza_news.

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  • E

    Ed CuttingFeb 25, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    What was the percentage of grad students who voted?!?
    If the SGA wishes to have a scintilla of integrity, you gotta throw out the trustee election on voting problems and precedent. It has to be done over.

  • T

    Tasty TomatoFeb 24, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Go read about how Stephanie Margolis was treated! Completely awful!