“Refresh” candidates elected SGA President and Vice President in razor thin race

25 votes. The elections for the University of Miami Student Government Association President and Vice President positions were decided by only 25 votes, as “Refresh” presidential candidate Jamie Williams-Smith and vice-presidential candidate Chika Nwosu emerged victorious.

After a week delay due to reported violations of elections protocol, UM finally found their top two leaders for the 2022-2023 school year.

SGA election candidates are seen posing for a photo on the patio.
SGA election candidates are seen posing for a photo on the patio. Photo credit: Michael Mok

“I feel so ecstatic; this is honestly so unbelievable,” said Williams, a junior majoring in business technology.

“Since the beginning, I said this is meant for me, it will be for me,” Williams said.

With 50.66% of the vote, Williams and opponent Paul Douillon were separated by 23 votes, whereas vice president elect Nwosu won by only two votes.

Nwosu, a junior majoring in biology and psychology, said she has been wanting to win the position since her first year at UM and was anxious for the results after finding that the opposing“A U for U” ticket also had great ideas.

“There was a lot of anxiety because they’re a quality team as well,” Nwosu said. “It’s just like, you want something and you’ve been wanting it since freshman year. So there’s just anxiety of your dreams being so close and so far and not really knowing that.”

Now, Nwosu said she is excited to translate her dreams into reality.

“I have a lot of plans,” Nwosu said. “Just being able to be in a position to do them is super exciting,” Nwosu said.

This nail biting election has still not come to an official close, however, as neither Tatiana Alvarado from the ‘A U For U’ campaign or Shadae Nicholas from the ‘Refresh’ campaign could secure 50% of the vote for the treasurer position.

A run-off election will be held Monday, March 7 to determine the winner.

“It’ll be the same process as the initial election. Voting will be open on the student government Engage, or you could just type as sg.miami.edu/vote and you’ll be able to vote for just those two candidates that are running in the runoff for treasurer,” said elections chair Asia Chester, a junior majoring in biochemistry.

“They will be able to campaign as you saw the tickets campaigning for the entire three positions and that will start next week, Monday.”.

Nwosu said she was not surprised at how close the election was because of the pull ‘A U for You’ had across multiple student organizations and classes.

“I did not know elections would be so exciting and drama-filled,” Nwosu said. “ I was surprised to hear about violations in the first place. I didn’t even know how to respond to that.”

After reflecting on the violations trial, Williams said she does not see it as a big deal now that she has made it through the process.

Williams highlighted the fact that last year Landon Coles, the current SGA president, went to trial for campaign protocol violations despite running unopposed.

“It was something to get through to get here,” Williams said. “It seems like right now it is a part of the campaigning process.”

President-elect Williams formatted her campaign around a platform of transparency and practicality. She said she wants to bridge the divide between administrative decisions and students while also making realistic changes around campus.

The first action she plans to take as president will be tackling the issue of the Corner Deli lines by putting their food on Grubhub and allowing it to stay as a meal swipe.

Williams said she is relieved that the campaign process is over for her personally, but is ecstatic for what is to come.

“At times it was discouraging, because you never know what the outcome will be and you put so much time, energy and effort into something and you do not know what the outcome is,” Williams said.

“I really commend my ticket and everyone who put themselves out there, even for the senate, to run because it takes a lot to put yourself out there and be judged by a lot of people.”