Party in the new SA
Value Party sweeps SA election
The Value Party celebrates its victory in the Student Association election, sweeping all seven positions. Aline Kobayashi, The Spectrum
James Ingram said he always knew his party had the potential to earn the student body's support. On Thursday, undergraduates proved him right.
The Value Party celebrated in the Student Association office as Election and Credentials Chair Matt Siwiec announced Ingram and the rest of his party swept the SA elections.
Presidential and vice presidential candidates Ingram and Evan Chen, respectively, won the two executive positions with 250 votes more than the Impact Party. Erin Lachaal and Myriam Diomande, who also ran for president and vice president, received 951 votes while Ingram and Chen had 1,201.
Sade Cadle also came out on top with 1,021 votes for the position of treasurer from the student body over Impact's Juan Jimenez's 965 and independent candidate Ali Ahmed's 155.
Before the announcement of the results, both parties were talking casually to each other - the different colored clothing corresponding with their parties was the only obvious divide. It seemed there was less tension between the two tickets than in previous years.
The number of undergraduate votes cast this year was 2,303 - 237 fewer than last year's total. About 11.8 percent of the undergraduate student body voted in the election.
"When I put this team together in the beginning, I knew we had the potential to do it as long as we took the right steps to get there," Ingram said. "We took all the right steps, so I am really happy with the outcome."
Immediately after the announcement, Lachaal shook some of her opponents' hands and, with tears in her eyes, hugged Diomande and thanked her team. Lachaal was grateful for the support her Impact Party received from the student body during election week.
"We are proud of the campaign we ran and we felt and still feel like we were better suited for the job," Lachaal said in an email. "Despite the results, we will continue our work trying to advocate for the student voice and standing up for what we believe in."
After his party won, Chen immediately hugged members of the opposing party before celebrating with his ticket. Chen said the Value Party managed to get through the stressful week, in which members campaigned on the Student Union floor Tuesday through Thursday, because the group worked as a team.
"We're all friends, so we kept going," Chen said. "A lot of us didn't get a lot of sleep, but a lot of us went to study together and supported each other while we were going through [it]."
Cadle was "at a loss for words" after her party won. But she said she believed in her party's potential strongly because it had "overqualified candidates." As long as they put in the hard work, the victory was expected, she said.
"What I plan to do now is to continue to keep pushing forward," Cadle said.
Ingram's party has pledged to update SA by modernizing its basic operating procedures. Rather than having a class teach topics, like how to book a room, Ingram plans to make video tutorials for those skills. This would make the information available for students to watch on their own time.
Since the beginning of the semester, Chen has been working with the Richmond Fitness Center in Ellicott Complex. He wants to increase awareness of the services the gym provides, such as free trainers, classes and medical help.
"I get to make a difference more under a different title," Chen said. "And regardless of what would have happened, I already made plans to make a difference. I feel there is something I can do now in more different fields."
Ingram said he is looking to hire the most qualified people for SA.
"I think that the students selected a great group of people," Ingram said. "We are all hard-working individuals and we are all in it for the students. I think we can all look forward to a great year next year."
Madelaine Britt contributed reporting to this story.
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