Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Cochran wins SGA presidency


Grant Cochran won the office of Student Government Association president Tuesday, defeating Coresa Nancy Hogan, according to numbers released by the University’s SGA Elections Board.

Cochran drew 5,288 votes, or 58 percent of the total vote, to Hogan’s 3,862, or 42 percent of the vote. Voter turnout this year was higher than in 2010, with almost 32 percent of the student population casting a vote in the presidential race. In the 2010 election, 28 percent of students voted.

“I want to thank all my really close friends that kept me motivated when things got really tough, when everything was hectic,” Cochran said. “My family did the same thing, and my supporters, too. Everyone that helped me keep my chin up and stay motivated, they made this happen; they have my thanks.”

Cochran, a junior from Leland, Miss., majoring in biochemistry, said the news of his victory came as a major relief as well as powerful motivation to keep the promises he made to his voters.

“We were all just anticipating a close race here at the end.” Cochran said. “I knew my opponent was a very good one. I knew that we both stood for two different ideals, but in the end, I guess the voters favored mine, and I can’t thank my voters enough.”

Hogan, a junior from Birmingham majoring in fashion retail and accounting, also thanked everyone who supported her during the campaign and gave her blessing to her victorious opponent.

“I want to thank each and every student for heading to the polls today in support of a better, more unified Alabama,” Hogan said. “I congratulate Grant on his victory and look forward to working with him in the future.

“I want to urge all of my supporters to unite behind Grant and support his efforts,” Hogan added. “My campaign is built on uniting this campus, and the only way we can do that is by rallying behind our president.”

Hogan said she was proud of every vote she earned. She said she knows the ideals of her platform will carry on and might one day be realized, regardless of who held the title of SGA president.

“The neat thing about a grassroots campaign is that the values and ideals the campaign was built on can live on,” Hogan said. “I urge students to continue the dialogue and discussion on how to reform SGA and truly unite this campus.”

The races for all other executive offices were uncontested. Those elected were Executive Vice President Stephen Swinson, Vice President for Academic Affairs Clayton Armentrout, Vice President for External Affairs Alan Rose, Vice President for Financial Affairs Mark David Kennedy, Vice President for Student Affairs David Wilson and Executive Secretary Kelsey Kurth.

President-elect Cochran said that after celebrations and spring break, he and this year’s SGA would begin work.

“The first thing I’ll be able to do in week one is lay out my plan,” Cochran said. “My cabinet, my platform, the way I want my VPs to conduct themselves—we’ll lay out our platform with a specific timeline from day one, then make sure we have the right people in place working for us and with us.”

Kelli Knox-Hall, the Senior Assistant Director of the Ferguson Center and convener of the SGA Elections Board, headed the effort to coordinate the technical and logistical aspects of the elections.

She said the election process went very smoothly, thanks to great publicity from the debates between the presidential candidates, utilization of social media like Facebook and Twitter, e-mail updates that sent information quickly and directly to students and a great voting website that made it quick and easy for students anywhere to cast their vote without confusion or inconvenience.

“The good thing about our elections being online is that the weather today wasn’t a factor,” Knox-Hall said. “Students didn’t have to go to the trouble of getting out in this mess to physically cast a ballot, which definitely boosts voter turnout. We’re fortunate to have a wonderful online voting system like this one.”

Knox-Hall said the system didn’t perform perfectly, but it came very close.

“We’ve heard from just a few students, maybe four or five, who were having minor issues with the browsers and the ballot and have been able to resolve those questions for the students via phone or e-mail.”

Knox-Hall said these difficulties were limited to students being timed out of their browser or accidentally skipping positions and needing to log back in to complete their ballots. Aside from these minor issues, she said that no errors or complaints were reported about the system itself.



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