Cody Cousino / Asst. multimedia editor
After two weeks of campaigns, sidewalk chalking, posting flyers, creating videos, visiting regional campuses, updating social media and talking to students on campus, the Undergraduate Student Government election results are in. Nick Messenger and Emily DeDonato are the new USG president and vice president.
Messenger, a second-year in economics and political science and USG president-elect, and DeDonato, a second-year in biology and USG vice president-elect, received 51.4 percent of the votes, a total of 3,899, making them the fourth-highest recipients of vote totals since 1967, when USG began.
Jacob Foskuhl, a third-year in public affairs and Russian, and Melissa Kellams, a second-year in public affairs, came in second with 24.4 percent of the votes, a total of 1,852. Kevin Flynn, a fourth-year in biochemistry and international studies, and Andrea Blinkhorn, a third-year in international studies and political science, came in third with 21.9 percent of the votes, a total of 1,664.
When the election results were posted at 6:30 p.m. on the USG website, Messenger and DeDonato said they were in Messenger’s dorm room in Bradley Hall waiting to hear the news together.
“We’re just beyond excited about the opportunity that we have to actually start doing some of the things we talked about during the campaign,” Messenger said.
Messenger said the first thing he plans to do as president is, “to appoint a cabinet that we think can carry out all of the platform points and to have a smooth transition in. Then we want to get to work on ‘MySwitch’ right away and have that ready to launch in September.”
“MySwitch” is a website Messenger and DeDonato hope to create that would help students prepare for the quarter-to-semester switch by allowing them to enter their year and major to find out which classes they would need in order to graduate on time, Messenger said. It would also help students with simple questions that could arise from the quarter-to-semester switch.
Messenger and DeDonato said they do not know who will be in their cabinet, but will begin work on the decision today.
Messenger said he and DeDonato’s marketing strategy and platform connected to students.
“I think our focus from the beginning was to present a pretty tangible platform, a realistic goal that students could probably see in the upcoming years,” Messenger said. “Our goal is to do things that students will be able to see visually around campus and feel the impact of.”
Micah Kamrass, a fourth-year in economics and political science and USG president, said Messenger and DeDonato ran a great campaign.
Kamrass said this year’s elections brought the highest total amount of USG votes since 1975.
“I think that means that students are really getting engaged in what student government is doing,” Kamrass said. “I’m very excited for Nick and Emily.”
A total of 7,797 votes were cast in elections this year. In 1975, the total votes cast were 8,770.
Flynn said each USG slate did a good job.
“Everyone was always up early and going to bed late trying to talk to as many people as humanly possible,” Flynn said. “I think everyone did a great job with that.”
Foskuhl said it was humbling to receive the amount of votes that he and Kellams brought in.
“Regardless, we got a lot of our senators voted in and we were very pleased with that,” Foskuhl said. “We definitely want to keep pushing our issues forward that we campaigned for and we definitely will continue to support USG and make sure that OSU students are represented properly.”
Messenger said 26 senators from his slate were elected, however the Natural and Mathematical Sciences Senate results will be announced on Wednesday, due to an issue with coding those votes.
The ballot initiative to have USG advocate for the creation of a sexual violence policy was passed by 6,842 votes.
There were 175 president and vice president write-in votes, with Brandon Edwards and Shannon Buckner receiving 39 votes and Josh Samuels and Michael Dasu receiving 33 votes.
The inauguration will be at 6:30 p.m. on May 4 at the Senate chamber in the Ohio Union.
Sarah Stemen and Victoria Johnston contributed to this story.