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SG presidential race enters run-off election, unofficial gubernatorial and senatorial results announced

A run-off election for the Student Government presidential and vice presidential candidates was announced Friday, as well as results for the senatorial and gubernatorial races. ORACLE PHOTO/LEDA ALVIM

Two presidential tickets – juniors Cesar Esmeraldi and Elizabeth Volmy and juniors Sebastian Solano and Jessica Malanga –  will enter a runoff election on March 21 and 22 to decide the next Student Government (SG) platform to serve USF’s student body. 

The meeting to announce the unofficial results, which was held Friday from noon to 12:10 p.m. on Microsoft Teams, was facilitated by SG Supervisor of Elections Laura Shaw. After reviewing the votes for presidential candidates, the proximity of the unofficial results – or 38% of votes for Esmeraldi-Volmy ticket and 31% for the Solano-Malanga ticket – required a runoff election due to SG Title 7 statutes, according to Shaw. Under the statute, she said there must be a 10% difference between presidential tickets to make a formal declaration. 

Esmeraldi and Volmy are running their campaign under the acronym MORE, or mental health, opportunities, rise in transportation and parking and empowerment. Outlined in each part of the acronym are objectives such as implementing monthly mental health check-ins for students, assisting international students with finding internships and consolidating transportation across the three campuses. 

Other goals the ticket hopes to achieve if elected include increasing interaction between SG and the student body to hear student concerns as well as creating a cabinet of students to better SG’s marketing to the general public. 

Promoting the campaign acronym THRIVE, or transparency, health, resources, integration, vision and empowerment are Solano and Malanga. Goals outlined in their acronym include holding town halls and meetings for students to interact with SG, creating student advisory councils and bettering modes of transportation for students living near campus. 

Unofficial results for the new gubernatorial seats were also announced for each of the three campuses. Winning the two ticket race for the Tampa campus governor and lieutenant governor positions was Gustavo Storck and Maria Mendoza. Running as the only tickets for the St. Pete campus, Abdul Muqeet Khawaja and Taylor Herman were elected as governor and lieutenant governor. Gubernatorial candidates Alexandra Lopez and Bethsagena Thalon were elected to represent the Sarasota-Manatee campus. 

Senatorial seats filled for each campus were 31 for Tampa, four for Sarasota-Manatee and five for St. Pete. 

In addition to general election candidates, students voted to approve one constitutional amendment, or a referendum to continue the funding for the Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF). The SGEF is an activity and service fee designated to create environmentally-friendly amenities across campus.