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2017 SGA Presidential Election results in a runoff between Buckner/Onuh and Byrd/Smith

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2017 SGA Presidential Election results in a runoff between Buckner/Onuh and Byrd/Smith


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After weeks of campaigning, the 2017 SGA Presidential Election resulted in a tie between Buckner/Onuh and Byrd/Smith.

“Thank you to our candidates,” current President Elizabeth McKay said. “It takes a lot of bravery, a lot of courage to run for this position.”

There were a record breaking 1248 votes in this election, which is the highest turnout in the past 6 years, according to SGA Election Marshall Jordan Price.

Total: 1248

Buckner/Onuh: 582 (46.63%)

Byrd/Smith: 346 (27.72%)

Porter/Kirschbaum: 320 (25.56%)

Polls will be open on Friday, March 31 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.  

Due to the runoff, qualifications for senators will start Thursday, April 6. The following Tuesday and Wednesday will be elections for senators from 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 11 until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12.

The Tied Tickets

Olivia Buckner and Oge Onuh

Both students are rising seniors at Mercer. Buckner has been a class senator her entire Mercer career, while Onuh has been a senator for the 2016-2017 academic year.

According to Buckner and Onuh’s Facebook event, this ticket is hoping to “optimize your opportunities” with active communication and impactful initiatives.

“We want SGA to be a place for all, and the best way to offer this is to have Inclusivity be at the TOP of the list. This means every student should feel that they have an equal voice,” they said on the Facebook page. “We want to be in constant contact with students, organizations, clubs, faculty, staff and administration to get optimal results.”

Buckner and Onuh’s ticket is the only one with Greek and minority representation.

Catie Byrd and Michael Smith

Byrd is a rising junior at Mercer and Smith is a rising senior. Byrd came into SGA as a freshman as a Senator-at-Large, and Smith came into SGA at the beginning of his sophomore year. Previous to being a senator, Smith was a student correspondent during his freshman year.

According to the Vote Byrd/Smith Facebook event, this ticket is hoping to “light the bridge.”

Their platform states that  “Student Government Association is meant to be a bridge between students and the University. The bridge is here. But it’s time to light the bridge for all of Mercer’s students.”

Byrd and Smith outline several ways of closing that communication gap in their platform, including advisory councils, a class presidents committee, and an increased prioritization of student needs and student organizations.

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About the Photographer
Jenna Eason, Managing Editor

Jenna is from a small town in south Georgia. She is a journalism major with an anthropology and photography minor.

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2017 SGA Presidential Election results in a runoff between Buckner/Onuh and Byrd/Smith