The UNC Charlotte Student Government Association (SGA) elections took place in March, including ballots for class presidents, college senators and the student body president and vice presidential positions, which went into a runoff vote between Zac Mazag and Gabi Hitchcock (Mazag-Hitchcock) and Tahlieah Sampson and Vince Graham (Sampson-Graham). The original election took place on March 24 and 25, and the runoff voting occurred March 31 through April 1. The winning ballot for student body president and vice president was Sampson-Graham.
“The first thing that popped into my head was, ‘Okay...time to move smarter, time to move harder,’” said President Sampson of finding out they went to a runoff vote. “After hearing the results after the runoff election I was in a state of shock,” said Vice President Graham. “I knew we had a lot of people supporting us and our campaign; I just didn’t realize it was that many.”
President Sampson is entering her third year at UNC Charlotte. She is majoring in political science and minoring in legal studies. Before winning this election, she served as freshman class president and press secretary. Vice President Graham is also going into his third year, majoring in business finance with a concentration in accounting and a minor in Spanish. His experience in SGA prior to this has been serving as the Organizational Ways and Means committee chair and as a senator at-large.
The Sampson-Graham administration officially began April 10. They are currently working to build the executive branch. “Right now we are working on building a solid team. Our cabinet will be sworn in next week, which we are very excited about,” said President Sampson.
When asked what they’re looking forward to about the 2020-2021 academic year, they both had much to say about their administration. President Sampson is excited about initiatives they will have on campus and says their main goal is to “provide students with an equitable experience.” She says she is looking forward to meeting and connecting with more students and organizations. Vice President Graham is looking forward to hopefully returning to in-person classes. He is also excited about student engagement in his and Sampson’s new roles, especially in regard to incoming students. “[I’m excited to] get incoming students excited about being a Niner because unfortunately for them, they didn’t get a SOAR, a buildup for college,” said Vice President Graham.
Amidst COVID-19, the Sampson-Graham administration wants to reassure the student body that they are still here for them. “Even though we have now been elected into these new roles as student body president and vice president, we are students going through this time as well. In the midst of this crisis, please take the time to care for yourself. While you may be feeling fear, anxiety and/or confusion, try to find a way to help ease your emotions,” they stated in a message to the Niner Times. The Sampson-Graham administration recommends activities such as creating a playlist, journaling, meditating, calling friends or loved ones, and reading a new book. “We are all going through this together. Please let us know how we can help.”
For more information about the Sampson-Graham administration, they can be followed on Instagram @Sampson.Graham.