Close SGA elections lead to a runoff

*UPDATE: As of Sunday, April 5, Zach Struman is the College’s new student body president.

As of Wednesday, April 1, the College has a new student body president: Sean Stivaletta.

Presidential candidate, Stivaletta. (Photo courtesy of College of Charleston OrgSync)

Presidential candidate, Stivaletta. (Photo courtesy of College of Charleston OrgSync)

In what has been the largest voter turnout in years, the Spring 2015 Student Government Association (SGA) election was held from Wednesday, March 25th from 8 a.m. until Thursday, March 26th at 5 p.m. 1,622 students cast their ballots online through the OrgSync Portal. SGA presidential candidate Sean Stivaletta received 49.59 percent of the votes, Zach Sturman received 44.08 percent and Theodore Broda received 6.33 percent. Due to close numbers, executive officers in SGA ruled that a runoff election would determine the new president. Deciding between candidates, Stivaletta and Struman, students were able to once again, cast their vote from 8 am – 5 pm on Wednesday.

Stivaletta, a Political Science major and Charleston 40 tour guide, assured students that being president would be a privilege, expressing, “ I would be honored to get the opportunity to spend my final year at the College using all of the leadership skills and experiences I have developed these past three years in order to serve you all as the President of the Student Government Association.”

Sturman promised the student body that if voted president, he would work to bring high-speed printers all throughout campus, umbrella rentals and a new electronic sign-in system for dorms.

Presidential candidate, Struman. (Photo courtesy of College of Charleston OrgSync)

Presidential candidate, Struman. (Photo courtesy of College of Charleston OrgSync)

Producing yet another record breaking voter turnout, 1,735 students cast their votes for the presidential runoff. By late evening, ballets indicated that Sturman received 51.24 percent of votes while Stivaletta received 48.76 percent.

However, at 4:45 pm, a member of the Election Commission reported finding five “Vote Zach Sturman for President” campaign handouts located on the information desk of the George Street Fitness Center. According to SGA bylaws, this is a violation which states that, “…handouts shall only be distributed by hand to interested individuals…”. Subsequently, the violation placed on Sturman lead to the Election Commission disqualifying Sturman for the the infraction.

Although receiving a minority of votes, Stivaletta was declared the unofficial SGA President-elect.

Sturman still has a chance to become the College’s next student body president. With the ability to contest the election results in writing to the Election Commission by 5pm on Friday, April 3rd, Sturman can fight for the presidential position. If such occurs, the Election Commission will reconvene and put Sturman’s case under examination with all related evidence concerning the found infraction. Only then will a decision be made and results finalized.

As of Sunday, April 5, the Election Commission voted to,  “overturn the disqualification of Zach Struman due to a contestation of the results and new evidence provided.” Struman is now the College’s student body president receiving 889 votes compared to Stivaletta’s 846.

Aside from presidential positions, SGA has successfully declared new student officials who will take office the coming school year. Winners include: (Updated as of April 5)

Vice President

Michael Faikes 1024

Jasmine Gil                452

Robert Harter            95


Emily Torchiana       1180

Jakarri Godbolt             294- Disqualified

Meghan Longtin         104


Nicholas Catherall     1542

Senior Senator

  1.      Sierra Small              904
  2.      Logan Elliott            837
  3.      Erin Dempsey          827
  4.      Alan Lindsey            732
  5.      Courtney Caughey 692
  6.      Aubrey O’Brien       648
  7.      Danielle Wilson       600
  8.      Ryan Boyd               597

Junior Senator

  1.      Tate Moore              546
  2.      Foster West              503
  3.      Claire Cheramie      442
  4.      Presley Leopard       438
  5.      Taylor Shawver        423
  6.      Harleigh Miller        405
  7.      Kelsey Steiner          355
  8.      Stephanie Cameron 342
  9.      Hampton Williams 266 (Alternate)

Jakarri Godbolt 463 Disqualified

Sophomore Senator

  1.      Katherine Perkner 710
  2.      Bri Stewart               584
  3.      Kate Glass                539
  4.      Theodore Broda      539
  5.      Adezha Eison           465
  6.      Annie Simpson        439
  7.      Corey Mordas                      429
  8.      Meghan Longtin      405
  9.      John Randolf Reveral 401 (Alternate)

Michaela Rule 367

Robert Harter 351


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Chelsea Anderson is the Blog Editor for CisternYard News. She is a senior studying Communication at the College. Her journalistic journey began in high school while working with WTGR news. On any given day, you can find her watching soap operas, Keeping Up with the Kardashians or taking an intriguing Buzzfeed quiz.

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