Earlier in the semester, four applicants submitted applications and a vote was taken to choose a public relations representative for Rowan’s Student Government Association on Oct. 17 during the Senate’s biweekly meeting. Due to complications with the vote, a winner was never declared.
When senators had the opportunity to vote in the election, one of the four candidates, Steve Olimpio, received the most votes and was given the position. However, it was later discovered that Olimpio had brought a few friends with him to the conference who had improperly voted, aiding in Olimpio’s triumph.
The SGA members later learned about this; consequently, Olimpio was immediately disqualified. As a result, Brianna Reagan, the election’s runner-up, received the job automatically. Olimpio claimed he was unaware that his friends would vote on his behalf even though they were not permitted.
After the gathering was over and the Eynon Ballroom was practically empty, Reagan was informed of her accomplishment. Reagan’s joy, however, was short-lived because the SGA was planning to hold another election the next day, according to an email she received the day after the election.
On Halloween night, a second election was held. Prior to the voting, SGA President Paige Bathurst made it clear that only members of the club chapter senate were eligible to cast ballots. Additionally, Olimpio was permitted to run for office throughout the voting process. In the end, Reagan was declared the victor — again.
Reagan shared her opinions on the election process and her eventual win.
“I’m very happy for the position and the services that come with the position… I think that it was strengthening to make contact with the community… and connection with the students. Since I’ve been in SGA, I feel that I have been warmly welcomed into the group of people… They’ve been helping me put together things and help me run my position.” Reagan said. “I feel like I can bring a lot to the table.”
With Reagan’s victory in the election, she is now one of the very few BIPOC members of the SGA in an otherwise majority-white student body.
“SGA did not offer me the position as much as I offered it to myself,” Reagan said. “These positions need to be promoted to BIPOC communities more often so that they can chase these positions. Though it is not disclosed to anybody in the BIPOC community, it should be promoted to them more often and they should take the initiative to pursue these positions if they feel they want to. I don’t feel that this position was given to me. I feel like this a position that I fought for myself.”
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