Strive wins Ball State's 2021 election

<p>Chiara Biddle, Strive slate vice president elect, Tina Nguyen, president elect, and Joseph Gassensmith, Strive campaign manager, listen to a phone call from Parker Abrell, SGA elections commissioner, March 2, 2021 in a Kinghorn Hall conference room. Abrell called the slate about five minutes after voting closed to congratulate slate members on their win. <strong>Rylan Capper, DN</strong></p>

Chiara Biddle, Strive slate vice president elect, Tina Nguyen, president elect, and Joseph Gassensmith, Strive campaign manager, listen to a phone call from Parker Abrell, SGA elections commissioner, March 2, 2021 in a Kinghorn Hall conference room. Abrell called the slate about five minutes after voting closed to congratulate slate members on their win. Rylan Capper, DN

SGA voter turnout and percentages

These are the percentages of the voter turnout the slate received:

Strive: 71.4 percent, or 460 votes

No confidence: 28.6 percent, or 184 votes

Total votes: 644

Source: Parker Abrell, SGA elections commissioner

Sitting in a Kinghorn Hall conference room with her fellow slate members, Strive vice presidential candidate Chiara Biddle heard a phone ring.

“Is that the call?” she asked presidential candidate Tina Nguyen.

The call, coming a few minutes after voting for the Student Government Association (SGA) election closed at 5 p.m. March 2, was from SGA Elections Commissioner Parker Abrell, who congratulated slate members on their win.

“Am I dreaming right now?” Biddle said as she hugged Nguyen.

The Strive slate secured 71 percent of the vote. Campaigning unopposed and meeting virtually with campus organizations was different from previous year’s election seasons, but Biddle said she doesn’t think the slate’s victory means any less.

“We treated ‘no confidence’ as our biggest competitor,” she said. “I think that we worked even harder to make sure people were confident in us and that they were making a vote that really meant something to them.”

Nguyen said slate members will meet with the current Bold slate to discuss the upcoming transition of power and get their opinions on how the Strive slate can begin research on their focuses.

“We would not feel comfortable stepping on Bold’s toes — that’s not what we want for our organization,” Nguyen said.

Even unopposed, campaign manager Joseph Gassensmith said Strive acted as if it were in a close race.

“That first day that we announced our campaign, I sent about 97 emails in one day,” he said. “We met with probably about 50 organizations — most of them were virtual and some in person. I do feel that [the victory] is well deserved and my team worked hard.”

The Strive slate will be inaugurated as the 2021-22 SGA executive board April 21.

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