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Advance UA fails to win any SGA races

Taylor Holland

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Advance UA, a group of five greek students running independently of the Machine, failed to claim any executive positions in Tuesday’s elections.

The group, who formed this year and received campus-wide attention for their unified platform, said they were disappointed with the losses but hoped that the movement they started this year would stay alive and gain momentum in years to come.

“I think above all, we’re just disappointed,” said Chandler Wright, who ran for the position of vice president of student affairs. “Not just because we lost, we obviously walked in this knowing the odds, and none of us expected to win down the line, but I think it’s disappointing because campus obviously isn’t ready to move forward.”

Wright said the experience, if nothing else, made lasting relationships for the candidates who ran together and set a framework for similar movements in the future.

“I think we have definitely made history,” Wright said. “We’re all immediately looking to the future, and we would all love to see Advance UA be a part of that. We’ve created a really good platform and done a good job at branding ourselves, and working with that, we have a bright future for Advance UA and elections in years to come.”

Kyle Zimmerman, who ran for vice president of external affairs, also said the loss was tough, but the relationships he formed as an Advance UA candidate would last a lifetime.

“This is the first year anything like this has happened, and I feel like this is just the beginning of something new here at UA that can be something great,” Zimmerman said. “This campus is getting bigger, it’s getting more diversified each and every year. The Machine and all its craziness is just eventually going to end. It’s got to.  We’re ready to come back next year and work through this whole year to make a difference.”

“In the next week or so, people are going to become disheartened with campus as a whole,” Wright said. “It’s so hard not to fall into that, but we just have to remember that we have to make this worth something to the student who is in Rose Towers, who is not involved, who goes to class and comes home and that’s it. SGA doesn’t matter to them and we have to make it relevant to these students. As easy as it is to blame apathy, you have to look past that and see it as your personal task to change that.”

The Machine-backed candidates for every executive position won their elections Tuesday.

Denzel Evans-Bell defeated A.J. Collins and Adam Rawlins for the position of vice president for Academic Affairs.

“I’m excited to show younger students on this campus and others who haven’t gotten here yet that if you set your mind to something, it can be accomplished,” Evans-Bell said.

With the victory, Evans-Bell became the first black student elected to executive office at least since the SGA was reinstated in 1996.

“This means everything to me,” he said. “Everything that I was before this, I’m going to continue to be that person now as far as my work ethic.”

Jimmy Taylor was elected as the vice president of External Affairs, defeating Jeff Elrod and Kyle Zimmerman. Taylor said he was excited to have been elected to this position.

“I respect Kyle and Jeff both, and I’m really excited about my term as vice president for External Affairs and excited for the big projects ahead,” Taylor said.

Andy Koonce, who was elected as vice president for Financial Affairs, defeated Christian Smith.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to serve the student body in this important way,” Koonce said. “I ‘d like to thank all my campaign staff and the University for having faith in me and supporting me in this whole process.”

In other executive races, Will Pylant was elected as the vice president for Student Affairs, Matt Harris as executive vice president and Brielle Appelbaum, who ran unopposed, as executive secretary.

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Advance UA fails to win any SGA races