After a week of campaigning, J.D. Jones, junior in biomedical science, was elected as the 2023-2024 Student Government Association president during callouts held in the quad this Friday.
Jones defeated Ryan Hall, a junior in communication, by 941 votes, or 11.58% of the overall presidential turnout. After the board counted the ballots, Jones had captured 55%, or 4,533, to Hall's 44.21%, or 3,592.
His platform, “Just Be with J.D.,” had three major components. Just beginning, just belonging and just believing is not only meant to reinforce the love some Auburn students have for their campus, but also gives the students who may hold the university at arm’s length an opportunity to try.
Jones’ platform promises to build inclusivity in housing, enhance the student experience by increasing dining dollar capacity and build cohesion across campus. He also wants to work with the Board of Trustees and begin planning the future cadence of the university.
Jones will spend his first days in office with the newly elected vice president, Julianne Lozano, and treasurer, Ashton Dickinson, to lay out their 2023-2024 agenda.
"The next step, I think, is sitting down with the next two people that are elected with me and establishing what we want our next executive council to look like, what we want this next year to look like," Jones said. "Those are two dear friends of mine, and I'm really excited to work with them."
Jake Haston, senior in journalism, was quick to congratulate the president-elect as he walked up the steps to the pavilion, and he has confidence Jones will serve Auburn students well.
"He's a sharp person, and he's going to do an excellent job," Haston said. "It's a year of highs and lows, and he's a steady person. He’s going to be excellent in the role.”
Jones' campaign had a single allegation of violating the campaign rules. The allegation concerned the placement of an official campaign billboard, but the board ruled that no violation occurred.
For Jones, election day started at 5:00 a.m. with prayers and breakfast with friends. He spent most of the day on the concourse with his staff and supporters, encouraging students to vote before decompressing with dinner and video games. After, Jones walked to the Quad to hear the election board announce his name, officially declaring him the next SGA president.
"I'm in shock, but I had a lot of peace with it. Regardless of how it played out, I had a lot of peace. I am very excited for the year,” Jones said.
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Ethan Flynn, freshman in journalism and finance, is a campus reporter at The Plainsman.