The Georgetown University Student Association senate voted unanimously Sunday to certify the results of Thursday’s executive election, officially confirming Joe Luther (COL ’16) and Connor Rohan (COL ’16) as the next president and vice president of the association.
“Connor and I are honored to serve in our roles this year and excited to serve the student body. We thank the senate for the certification and look forward to working with them,” Luther said.
“But we’re really peeved that we still haven’t heard from the Stewards. When are they going to confirm us, huh?” Rohan said.
Luther and Rohan won the election with 54.1 percent of the vote in the fourth and final round of voting, after campaigning on a satirical platform that criticized GUSA for being out of touch with the student population. With the lack of concrete, feasible platform tenets, sources close to senators had speculated in the run-up to the election that the body might choose to not confirm the results should the ticket win, but those worries proved to be unfounded.
Vice Speaker Abbey McNaughton (COL ’16), who finished second in the presidential election, introduced the motion to certify the results. The motion passed unanimously. McNaughton will assume the role of chief of staff for the executive.
Senate Speaker Tyler Bridge (COL ’17) noted the unorthodoxy of the new executive but said that certifying the results was not in doubt.
“While it is obvious that the victory of the Luther-Rohan ticket was a shock to many in the GUSA establishment, I believe that democracy has odd ways of making government work,” Speaker Tyler Bridge (COL ’17) wrote in an email. “As it should have done, the senate unanimously certified the election results.”
Former vice presidential candidates Meredith Cheney (COL ’16) and Reno Varghese (SFS ’16) were among the senators voting to approve certification. Current GUSA President Trevor Tezel (SFS ’15), Vice President Omika Jikaria (SFS ’15) and Luther observed the meeting.
While Bridge expressed his enthusiasm for working with Luther and Rohan, he said that their relative inexperience could allow a stronger role for the senate in campus leadership.
“This election, though unorthodox and once unimaginable, represents a distinct opportunity to begin a new chapter in student government,” Bridge wrote. “While it remains to be seen how the Luther administration will respond, this election places the senate in a unique position to lead. As the officially recognized voice of the student body, the senate, I believe, will be both ready and willing to step up to the plate, helping to fill a leadership role that we have previously shirked.”
Prior to the vote to certify the results, Election Commissioner Pavan Rajgopal (SFS ’14) gave the senate a brief overview of the election process, saying that the election ran relatively smoothly.
“Overall, we had a pretty successful executive election. It was definitely contentious at times, and got heated and personal; we obviously don’t like to see that,” Rajgopal said. “In terms of actual rule violations, though, there were only a couple reports. … We had a minor issue with study-abroad voting because our eligibility lists didn’t include those students but we were able to cross-check the lists with people who voted via email, and that process worked itself out.”
Rajgopal said that Luther and Rohan’s victory gave them a clear directive from the student body to lead.
“The election went fairly well. It’s great to see people energized about GUSA again,” Rajgopal said. “Joe and Connor, you guys have a huge mandate, and I’m sure that you’ll do great things.”
Hoya Staff Writer Katherine Richardson contributed reporting.