The contest for Undergraduate SGA President and Executive Vice President came to a close Wednesday, with the undergraduate student body electing Eran Mordel and Amit Khanduri to the spots by a wide margin. Mordel and Khanduri received 2075 votes, and their opponents, Hunter Hammond and Kia Andrews, received 1144 votes.
The announcement came at the end of a 10-day race that had both campaigns crisscrossing campus to speak with student groups, engaging in a public debate last week and releasing a number of videos and social media updates.
Mordel and Khanduri in particular worked to establish a strong presence on campus, handing out free food at events and dressing supporters in a banana costumes to promote the team.
After Joseph Carter, SGA Elections Chair, announced the winners, supporters swarmed Mordel and Khanduri, who were jubilant in victory.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am. It’s really overwhelming,” Mordel said.
“I’m very excited. There’s a lot of work ahead of us,” Khanduri said.
Hammond and Andrews were both disappointed in the loss.
“I’m upset, but I think that Eran and Amit are great people. I think we gave our hardest,” Andrews said.
Hammond pointed to the tone of their own campaign as a possible weakness.
“We were told that if we lost it was because we didn’t play it rough enough,” Hammond said.
“That’s not for me to say,” Hammond said when asked whether Mordel’s campaign acted that way.
Mordel and Khanduri, who called their campaign “Spark 2012,” campaigned on their experience in SGA and the resources they would bring to academic and campus life, including a syllabus database and improved campus safety. Mordel currently serves as SGA Vice President of Campus Affairs, and Khanduri serves as Vice President of Academic Affairs.
They refuted claims from Hammond’s campaign stating their ideas were the product of committee chairs who worked under them, saying that they were acting as leaders of a diverse team. They also differed from Hammond’s wishes of having a student representative on the Board of Regents, believing that achieving that goal in only one year was not feasible.
The election was marred by difficulties with the web system used to record votes, with some undergraduates being unable to vote for Hammond and Andrews.
According to Carter, the glitch came as a result of the age of the voting system. When OIT made some changes to the way students are authenticated, the system broke.
Hammond said some had recommended he dispute the election due to the glitch.
“Some people told me to look into a recall, but I don’t know that it’s worth it,” Hammond said.
Mordel and Khanduri will now begin building their administration, after recovering from the campaign.
“We’ve got to rethink a lot of things. Before that, we’ve got to grab some sleep,” Khanduri said.