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SGA candidates react to president, vice president results

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2019 SGA Presidental Candidates

The 2019 SGA presidential candidates were (from left to right) Justin Norris, Vivek Vijay and Jamelia Reed, pictured on Oct. 24.

Justin Norris said he was grateful after being elected Student Government Association president Wednesday night, defeating two other candidates with nearly 70 percent of the vote. 

Norris, a vocal performance and marketing junior, and political science sophomore Dalton Gau ran on a platform focused on uniting the campus and facing problems proactively. With a campaign slogan of “Tomorrow Together,” they emphasized partnership with registered student organizations, as well as greek organizations, among other things, in their campaign. 

Norris sent a statement to The Daily via text after his victory.

“(Gau) and I are very humbled and grateful,” Norris said. “None of this would be possible without the support of the student body. This is the first step towards our #TomorrowTogether!” 

African and African-American studies junior Jamelia Reed and electrical engineering pre-law junior Rosa SanRoman were the runners-up with 27.81 percent of the vote. 

Reed and SanRoman ran on a platform focused on intentional allyship with all groups on campus, but especially with the multicultural and LGBTQ organizations. Their campaign slogan was “Real Change Today.” 

“I expect nothing less from an institution that is predominantly white,” Reed said after the results were announced. “As a woman and part of the queer community, I expect nothing less ... We have an elitist, misogynistic, patriarchal system that is OU, and so I expect nothing less.”

Reed also said she doesn’t expect Norris and Gau to handle the challenges of their position well. 

“When it comes to another blackface incident,” Reed said, “they’ll be running around campus with their heads cut off because they don’t know what to do ... I do expect them to say something really nice ... but at the root of it, I expect nothing less than the same cycle to happen over and over again. When diversity and inclusion is a real concern, everybody has to be involved, not just the people who are affected by it.” 

Reed and SanRoman both said they were thankful for the support they have gotten throughout the campaign. 

“I think we gained a lot from this experience," SanRoman said. "I know I gained a large community of leaders who are also tired of seeing what’s going on with OU and, as (Reed) said, we don’t really plan on sitting on our ideas, and putting them in a box, and putting them away for good.” 

Vivek Vijay and Behin Sanei, city planning graduate students, ran on a platform focused on increasing research initiatives, campus safety and reforming the SGA code annotated, among other things. Their campaign received 2.36 percent of the vote. 

Vijay told The Daily in an email that even though he congratulated his opponents, he did not think their supporters wanted real change.

"This is well-played politics, and they won," Vijay said in the email. "And I would like to congratulate them. But from the logical perspective, it is clearly evident that whoever voted for them doesn't really want to change anything but just needs someone who they know to be called president."

Vijay also said in the email he thought there were problems with the voting on OrgSync. Vijay said the SGA campus elections page on OrgSync had more than 28,300 members when the election started, but the member count is now is a round 27,000. Vijay said he doesn't believe the number of enrolled students is exactly 27,000.

"I would like to openly challenge the election commission to prove that how they reduced the number and how did it exactly come up to a rounded figure of 27,000," Vijay said in the email.

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