Taylor wins SGA presidency

In a matter of weeks, the UVM student body will be under the wings of two new leaders.James “Jay” Taylor and Josh Miller were the winners of this year’s Student Government Association (SGA) presidential and vice presidential elections.Current SGA President Kesha Ram sent an e-mail to the student body last Thursday af?ternoon notifying them of the winners.”[The victory] feels awesome,” Taylor said. “I was feeling pretty optimistic on Tuesday and Wednesday, but during the last few hours [of the election] I was nervous.”The voting stations closed at 4 p.m. on Wednesday and, about an hour later, Taylor received a call from Emma Grady, election chair of SGA, informing him of his victory, he said.According to the election statistics, Taylor received about 74 percent of 557 votes; his opponent Michael Glynne, who is also the Speaker of the Senate, received about 26 percent. Although Miller ran uncontested, he only received 78 percent of the vote. “Some students voted for people that weren’t on the ballot, while others just didn’t vote for vice president at all,” Miller said.The number of voters is a small representation of the student body, but voter turnout is always a problem, Taylor said.After the results were in, Glynne called Taylor to congratulate him and wish him luck, Taylor said.”This election was definitely ugly at times but I feel like [Mike and I] are still good friends,” he said.Taylor and Miller have the full support of both President Ram and Vice President DaVaughn Vincent-Bryan, Vincent-Bryan said.”I have a lot of faith in the student body and their choice is what’s important,” he said.Director of Student Life, Pat Brown, had a similar view on the results. “Whoever gets elected is the voice of the students,” he said.Scott McCarty, chair of the SGA Committee on Legislative Action also gave his support to Taylor’s victory.”I had two of my really good friends running [Taylor and Glynne] and I’m glad we had the choice between the two,” he said.”They both offered really good ideas and the Senate would have been served well by either of them.”Originally, Taylor and Miller were planning on running for each other’s positions, Taylor said.”Josh was looking to run for president, but we talked about our experiences, and Josh’s experiences with clubs and his passion for the Sen?ate itself made more sense for him to run for vice president,” he said.”We’re a team, though,” Miller said. “There is no overshadowing, but someone had to step down for the good of SGA.”Taylor and Miller will officially assume their positions on April 16, the day following the transition ceremony, Ram said.In order to be prepared for their new roles, Ram and Vincent-Bryan will help to acculturate Taylor and Miller, she said.”Part of the reason we’re happy and proud to pass the torch is that we’ve done a re?ally good job accomplishing what we set out to accomplish this year.”Brown will also assist the two in ad?justing to their new roles.”I have to meet with [Taylor and Miller] and raise questions to get them thinking about what they want out of their positions,” he said.As president and vice president, Taylor and Miller will have the ability to nominate the seven chairs for the Senatorial committees and the treasurer for the upcoming school year, Taylor said.”We also have the ability to nominate a speaker candidate, but the Senate ultimately votes,” he said.The election of a new speaker is usually presided over by the old speaker, but this year will be interesting because Glynne could choose to run again for speaker, Ram said.Taylor and Miller both plan to focus on safety and clubs when they assume their positions in a few weeks. “We are reaching out to clubs to help students realize we are there for them,” Taylor said.For the first time in four years, both the elected president and vice president are members of Greek Life, he said.”We intend to stay active, too,” Miller said. “We want to make the Greek presence more known around campus.”The duo will also be staying in Vermont all summer to evaluate student safety through CatAlert and the blue light system, in addition to putting together resources for clubs around campus, Taylor said.”I’ve seen three different presidents and vice presidents go through and I have seen what they’ve done, and I’m truly honored to be following in [their] footsteps,” Miller said.Glynne was unavailable to comment.