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Andrew Jackson, Sophie Chang win USG election

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Andrew Jackson and Sophie Chang were elected as president and vice president of Undergraduate Student Government for the 2017-18 school year. Credit: Courtesy of Andrew Jackson and Sophie Chang

Undergraduate Student Government’s next president will be Andrew Jackson, a third-year in Spanish and political science.

Jackson and his running mate, Sophie Chang, a third-year in environment, economy, sustainability and development, were announced as the winners of the 2017 election Thursday night. With 45 percent of the vote, they beat out the campaigns of Stephen Post and Lauren Todd, as well as brothers Reagan and Reese Brooks.

“We’re so grateful for everyone that’s helped us during the campaign,” Jackson said. “I don’t know if there are words to describe our emotions.”

A divestment ballot measure was defeated by less than 250 votes, and a measure to change parts of USG’s constitution — most notably affecting campaign finances — was passed by more than 4,000 votes.

On Wednesday night, before results were in, backers of the divestment measure hailed what they saw as a victory in increasing awareness for their cause.

“We started buzz like nothing before — you wouldn’t believe how many emails and DMs and conversations we’ve had with people who were tentatively against divestment, who then became supporters,” read a Facebook post from OSU Divest: Buckeyes for Human Rights.

Those on the “No” campaign said they have raised concerns about the fairness of the vote to USG’s Judicial Panel — namely that the link in the online ballot portal for more information on Issue 2 went to OSU Divest’s website, and that the voting form regarding Issue 2 didn’t appear in full on smart phones during part of the voting period.

While Jackson and Chang have not yet taken office, they said want to work with the outgoing USG administration of president Gerard Basalla and vice president Danielle Di Scala, and develop a transition plan.

“We want to work with Gerard and Danielle to see what we can tackle first,” Chang said. “We need to develop a strategic plan to see if there are any issues that can be completed.”

Jackson and Chang said they plan to adhere closely to their campaign platform of affordability, inclusion and sustainability.

“We really want to advocate for gender neutral housing and bathrooms for students that don’t fit in the gender binary,” Chang said. “We also believe that social, economic and environmental sustainability are important to the university overall.”

Chang also took time to praise the textbook-affordability resolution that was passed on Wednesday by the University Senate.

“We will look to build upon that,” she said.

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