At Tuesday night’s senate meeting, USG announced candidates Andrew Menard and Rini Sampath as the winners of the 2014 student elections for student body president and vice president.
Students crowded into the Ronald Tutor Campus Center to show support for their candidates and hear the results. After the announcement, many took to the floor to congratulate the newly elected candidates.
“I’m ecstatic,” Sampath said. “This is the greatest feeling.”
Over 6,000 students voted in the election, a record high for USG. Menard and Sampath received 44 percent of the total vote, followed by Logan Heley and A.J. Pinto with 29 percent.
Menard has been involved with USG for most of his time at USC, recently serving as director of university affairs. He describes the win as a culmination of years of participation in student government.
“I loved student government in high school, and I knew when I came to ’SC that it was something I wanted to get involved in,” Menard said. “It wasn’t necessarily something I always wanted, but I’m happy I’m here. It’s been a lot of hours, days, and pretty much years, leading up to this.”
The candidates walked around the room, hugging supporters, friends and competitors. After the room had emptied out, Menard and Sampath shared their thoughts about the future and life after the hectic two-week race.
“I’m looking forward to celebrating and sleeping just a little bit,” Menard said. “But really, I’m most excited about starting our platform.”
The platform, as conceived by Menard and Sampath’s campaign team, is a means of finding balance within student government and student life at the university.
“We wanted our platform to represent as many viewpoints as possible,” Sampath said. “We picked individuals who we thought were diverse, talented and qualified to chime in on what they thought the university needed.”
Despite the importance of their platform, the candidates stress that their most pertinent obligation is connecting with students at USC.
“We’re here because of the tremendous amount of friendships we’ve made, both those we made before the campaign and those we made along the way,” Menard said. “It really is a team victory, and we’re so thankful for the people we have in our lives that helped us get here.”