The campaigning portion of next term’s Student Government Association (SGA) elections has commenced, and ballots will open for the student body at 12 a.m. on March 13 and close at 5 p.m. on March 17. The ballot will feature elections for the student body president and executive vice president, representatives for each school and class representatives.
According to the current SGA President Rohan Sohani, voting will take place on elections.gatech.edu — an internal SGA software that is used for elections — and all students will likely receive a link to their ballot when voting starts via their Tech emails. Each candidate will be present on the ballot, even if they are running unopposed. Students can vote for the executive ticket, their class representative, major representative and special constituency positions if applicable. SGA utilizes rank-choice voting for all elections. Election results will be announced in Harrison Square at 6 p.m. for all positions on the same day that voting ends.
The elected branches of SGA consist of the executive branch, which contains the president, vice president their cabinet and the legislative branch, which includes class and school representatives and senators.
Candidates Aanjan Sikal and Harrison Baro are jointly running for the position of SGA president and vice president unopposed. The president mainly serves as the student body’s contact point with outside organizations like news outlets or the Georgia State Legislature. The vice president takes on a more internal role, advising the president and advancing the leadership of cabinet members and representatives.
The rest of the ballot will feature candidates running for the Undergraduate House of Representatives (UHR), which is a legislative body made up of 54 members representing various constituencies such as major, class or specific communities like transfer and international students.
The UHR meets weekly to discuss financial bills brought up by campus organizations and other relevant student issues. Per their website, meetings are open to all and take place every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Student Services Building in Room 117. Any student may participate during Open Forum Discussion.
Most of the major representative candidates are running unopposed: Cole Scott for the COB, Jeffrey Fang for the COC, Blaine Allen for the BC, Jackie Zong for CEE, Andrew Berry for ECON, Dae’Shawn Taylor for ECE, Avril Adams for MSE, Bianca Jayaraman for MATH, Emiliano Larach for ME, Vikram Sahgal for PSY, Julianna Velaj for PUBP and Nicholas Montero for AE. The BMED representative position is contested between Wyatt DeBord and Nadia Post, and the BIOS representative position is contested between Chase Pettiford and Thatcher Spears.
Rising second-years will have the following candidates on their ballot for sophomore class representative: Sultan Ziyad, Aditya (AP) Prabhakar, Noah Pastula, Ahmad Hicks, Thanmayee Kavuri, Jeremy Leurart and Yassin Reda.
The junior class representative is contested between Hugh Bargeron and Kelley Collier IV.
The senior class representative candidates are Amanda Johnston, Max Stevens, Adaiba Nwasike and Patrick Vu.
Priyanshu Mehta runs unopposed for international student representative. Voting in SGA elections is vital to the well-being of Tech’s student body, as it produces a dedicated student body that caters to the community’s needs. SGA representatives make decisions that affect all students, such as the yearly allocation of the Student Activity Fee and student advocacy policy. As such, all students are encouraged to make an educated decision between the candidates listed above.
“It is important for all students to vote in Student Government Elections because it allows for students to elect campus liaisons and leaders who advocate on their behalf at the Institute level,” Sohani said. “Especially for the Executive Ticket, the president and executive vice president serve as the face of the student body both here at Tech and outside the bounds of campus.”
Sohani also said that “electing leaders who can advocate for a wide array of issues and work with the Institute is crucial. Electing passionate and deliberate representatives enables the student experience to be improved upon each year.”
The SGA website dedicated to elections, sga.gatech.edu/elections, features every candidate, the position they are running for and their platforms.
It also offers a link to report any Elections Violations. All students are encouraged to consult this website to inform themselves well before elections begin, especially regarding candidates and their platforms to make the most educated choice possible.