Kitrina Miller elected student body president by 26 votes

Michael+Bearth+and+Kitrina+Miller+of+Together+We+Can+celebrate+after+winning+the+Student+Government+Association+election+Wednesday.+The+Election+Committee%27s+announcement+took+place+on+the+first+floor+of+the+Rhatigan+Student+Center.
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Kitrina Miller elected student body president by 26 votes

Michael Bearth and Kitrina Miller of Together We Can celebrate after winning the Student Government Association election Wednesday. The Election Committee's announcement took place on the first floor of the Rhatigan Student Center.

Michael Bearth and Kitrina Miller of Together We Can celebrate after winning the Student Government Association election Wednesday. The Election Committee's announcement took place on the first floor of the Rhatigan Student Center.

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Michael Bearth and Kitrina Miller of Together We Can celebrate after winning the Student Government Association election Wednesday. The Election Committee's announcement took place on the first floor of the Rhatigan Student Center.

Khánh Nguyễn

Khánh Nguyễn

Michael Bearth and Kitrina Miller of Together We Can celebrate after winning the Student Government Association election Wednesday. The Election Committee's announcement took place on the first floor of the Rhatigan Student Center.

Wichita State’s student body elected Kitrina Miller to be student body president for the 62nd session of the Student Government Association. Michael Bearth will serve as vice president. Miller and Bearth’s ticket, Together We Can, won by 26 votes over Isaac Rivera and Anisia Brumley’s Perpetual ticket.

Out of the more than 12,000 eligible student voters, 16.2% voted in the election. Together We Can received 32.8% of the vote, defeating three other tickets. Perpetual received 31.2% of the vote, All Voices Heard received 19.8%, and Unity Through Diversity received 14.4%.

“I’m extremely excited, and honestly surprised,” Miller said after the announcement. “I’m still processing at this moment.”

Miller and Bearth said their priorities for next year are expanding incentive and benefit programs, increasing the availability of student services, and ensuring transparent communication in SGA.

“Our main concern is correcting SGA and some of the faults we’ve noted throughout our involvement,” Bearth said.

One of those faults, Bearth said, is a trend of students applying to be senators in order to improve their resume. He said the issue has at least partially been fixed through this year’s senatorial elections.

“The team that has been elected by the students [is] dedicated to the task,” Bearth said.

Michael Bearth hugs outgoing Student Body President Shelby Rowell after being elected student body vice president.

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Michael Bearth (left) hugs outgoing Student Body President Shelby Rowell (center) as Kitrina Miller (right) looks on. Miller and Bearth’s Together We Can ticket won the election by 26 votes.

Student Body President Shelby Rowell said she was pleased to see an increase in voter turnout compared to last year, citing a more competitive race.

“That shows that we’re on the right track,” she said. “I would have liked to see more people run for Senate, and I’m hoping that next year that’s something the election commission will address.”

Last year, Kenon Brinkley and Rowell’s Revival ticket won an unopposed election that 12.3% of students voted in. In 2017, 19.7% of students turned out.

Rowell said Miller’s experience as student advocate gives her a useful perspective as student body president.

“She’s worked very closely with students, and she’s been able to build the trust of a lot of students through her work as student advocate,” she said.

After officially taking office, Miller said the cabinet will prioritize soliciting applications for open senate seats that were not filled by the election.

Bearth said some of the losing candidates in this year’s elections would be prime contestants for those vacant seats.

“There were a lot of them that are very qualified for the positions, and I would love to see them further involved,” he said.

Miller, a junior social work major, currently serves as the WSU student advocate — an executive position in SGA.

In a previous interview with The Sunflower, Miller said her role as student advocate has given her valuable insight that her opponents might not have.

“I was able to, you know, get a different perspective of student issues and concerns that maybe the other senators or other cabinet members might not have,” she said.

Bearth, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering and physics, is currently an SGA veteran’s senator. A former Marine Corps battalion maintenance management chief, he also serves as WSU’s student involvement ambassador, PAVE advisor (peer advisors for veterans education), and president of WSU’s National Society of Scholars.

Miller and Bearth, along with senator-elects, will be sworn in during an inauguration ceremony at 12:30 p.m. April 25 by the north RSC patio.