VSG election advances to runoff between Sasson/Gupta and Sliman/Grubbs tickets

With no candidates reaching the required 50% majority vote, a new round of voting will occur from March 30 at 8 a.m. CDT to March 31 at 8 a.m. CDT


Narenkumar Thirmiya

VSG President Amisha Mittal and VSG Elections Committee Chair Matthew Sohn announce the results, as photographed on March 29, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Narenkumar Thirmiya)

Alison Winters and Julia Tilton

The 2023 VSG presidential and vice-presidential elections will advance to a runoff between the two tickets which earned the most votes, juniors Ari Sasson and Shreya Gupta and juniors Samuel Sliman and Kendelle Grubbs. VSG Election Commissioner and Senior Matthew Sohn announced on March 29 at the Sarratt Promenade that a new round of voting will open on March 30 at 8 a.m. CDT and continue to March 31 at 8 a.m. CDT, with results being announced on March 31. 

Candidates must receive more than 50% of the vote to assume office. The Sasson/Gupta ticket received 49.13% of the votes. The Sliman/Grubbs ticket received 32.41% of the votes. Junior Macy Su and sophomore Lonnie Smith’s ticket will not continue into the runoff election, having received 16.76% of votes. Additionally, Sohn said 1.69% of the votes went toward write-in candidates, including juniors Andrew Hom and Arjun Menon. 

Sasson expressed he was “excited” about the upcoming runoff after hearing the results. Sliman and Grubbs both said they were not surprised that no ticket obtained a majority during the first round of voting.

“It’s really funny that he [Sasson] got 49% which made us have to do a runoff,” Sliman said. “This is about what I predicted.”

Smith and Su said they will continue to work with VSG.

“The results didn’t necessarily go the way we wanted but that doesn’t change anything for us for the future,” Smith said. “We know that no matter where we are – inside of VSG or outside of VSG – we’re ready to serve the student body.” 

Su added that she is excited about the future of VSG.

“Everyone running this year has fantastic ideas. Whoever is in office will do a really good job and we all obviously care, which is the most important thing,” Su said. 

Outgoing VSG President and senior Amisha Mittal said she hopes the remaining candidates will encourage students to vote again in the upcoming runoff. 

“I’m excited for both tickets to move forward,” Mittal said. 

Students expressed mixed reactions about the results of the runoff. 

First-year Patrick Dobranowski said he is happy that the Sliman/Grubbs ticket is advancing.

“It’s nice to see wit and humor being brought into Sam’s campaign,” Dobranowski said. 

Junior Meeros Khattaie, who works on the Sasson/Gupta campaign team, said she found it surprising that so many students had connected to the Sliman/Grubbs campaign despite some students viewing them as a “joke ticket.”

“So many people feel disconnected and upset with VSG to the point where they wanted a ticket representing reform,” Khattaie said. “I hope Sam and Kendelle come up with actual proposals and stuff and take it a little more seriously now.”

First-year Elsa Kammereck said it has been interesting to see this year’s election play out. She said that she felt more informed about the Sasson/Gupta ticket because their campaign had come to student organizations she is involved with on campus.

“I feel like I’ve seen Ari and Shreya’s campaign a bit more because they’ve come to different orgs and reached out, and I just haven’t had that experience with the other campaigns,” Kammereck said.