By Abbigail Overfelt
|Photo by Tashieka Hammond
Students Hannah Simpson, left, and ‘Candy’ Pambu received 45 percent of the popular vote.
Current Vice President of the Student Government Association Hannah Simpson was elected SGA President by the student body on April 3, according to election results as reported by Administrative Support Specialist for Human Resources Lori Carter.
"I was very nervous," Simpson said. "I knew that I had the support of my friends and many organizations ... but I will admit I was not letting myself believe I would win, and I was not letting myself believe that I would lose."
Simpson's running mate and Homecoming Queen 2007 Bukedi Candida "Candy" Panzo-Pambu will be assuming the role of vice president.
Chancellor Allen Meadors said the SGA elections had the best voter turnout that he had seen at UNCP, with about 10-12 percent of the student body participating.
According to Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Diane Jones, the elections totaled 765 votes. Simpson and Pambu received 342, Barry Burch Jr. and Efrain Colon II received 291 and Marvin "Tubby" Jacobs and Mardella "Sunshine" Costanzo received 115.
Dr. Jones said that 550 students turned out to vote on April 2, the first day of the elections.
"Their goal was 1000 votes," she said. "They probably would have met that goal if it wasn't for the bad weather the next day."
The 2008-2009 SGA Senator positions were also decided on April 3.
Serving as Senior Senators will be Musheerah Ali, Yetunde Akinsahunsi and Ryan Nicholas Kelly.
Kayla Pearson and Cassi Vinson will each hold the office of Junior Senator, while Galissia Graves, Lamar Courmon, and Rigoberto P. Quizon will be Sophomore Senators.
Bailey Sherwood and Keith Townsend will also serve for the SGA, as Freshman Senators.
"I think [I won] because I've been out campaigning everywhere and trying to get help from other organizations as much as possible,” Simpson said.
“Hopefully, it's because my platform was really good and [the students] wanted to vote for me," she continued.
Burch said that he thinks Hannah is a great person who will serve the campus community well. "I have nothing bad to say about her," he said.
"She has the most passion for the students," said Marvin Jacobs. "I look forward to seeing what she will do," he added.
Simpson also said that she owed a great portion of her success to fellow students.
"I had random people walk up to me and help me out with flyers and sending text messages," she said. "If it had not been for all the people who helped out, I would not have won."
Simpson said she is starting right away. The first task she has to do is pick a coordinator and co-coordinator for the Association of Campus Entertainment.
She also has meetings lined up with the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Development and current SGA adviser Dr. Thomas Corti to discuss the SGA budget and procedures.
"We had three very qualified candidates, and I could have worked easily with any of them," Dr. Jones said. "Hannah is very capable and I think she will do an outstanding job. She has a lot of energy ...I look forward to working with her.”
Simpson and Pambu will start their term July 1.