On Thursday Feb. 28, the Student Government Association announced that junior political science major Joshua Williams won the position of SGA vice president for the 2019-2020 term.
The results came after a coding issue with the online software for the initial election on Feb. 26.
“During the first half of yesterday’s election, there was a temporary coding issue with the online software, in which Gulf Park students were able to vote for the Hattiesburg SGA vice president. The coding issue was resolved yesterday afternoon; however, some students from the Gulf Park campus had already voted in the election,” McKenna Stone wrote on Feb. 27.
Because of the coding problems with the Feb. 26 election, the original results were voided.
Olivia LeBlanc, sophomore psychology major and vice president candidate, initially received 50 percent of the vote while Williams received 43.3 percent. These results would have caused a run-off election if they had not been voided.
However, in the second election, Williams received 587 votes, which equated to 50.9 percent of the vote.
After winning the position as SGA vice president, Williams spoke about his excitement for the upcoming term.
“I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know what to do or what to say; I’m just extremely excited,” Williams said.
With the results being official, Williams described what he plans to do first with his position.
“I want to work on motivation, even though that’s not a part of my campaign platform, but it’s something that we really need in Senate. So that’s going to be one of the very first things I work on,” Williams said.
Senior tourism management major and director of SGA and Senate elections Deidra Ollie mentioned her support for all of the candidates.
“I feel very proud about the results of the election. All of the candidates worked very hard, and they’ve worked hard in Senate throughout all the years they’ve been involved. They had great causes, and they were really trying to support the voices of the students, so I couldn’t ask for anything better than their hard work throughout the week,” Ollie said.
Junior marketing major Xavier Hawkins, who is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity with Williams, said he felt the election result was earned with hard work and commitment.
“Josh really had to prioritize for this. He was always in the GroupMe trying to campaign, and even if no one else wanted to go, he’d go out by himself. He has a lot of potential to help the university grow through diversity,” Hawkins said.
SGA president-elect for the 2019-2020 term and junior sociology major Michael Matrick voiced his support for all of the candidates throughout their campaigns.
“I think that everyone gave it their all, and that was super special to see because we saw all of our candidates campaigning to students. It was so clear that they were all trying their best to make a difference. There were so many emotions involved, so I give a full round of applause to everyone who tried,” Matrick said.