New administration aims to lift students’ spirits
President-elect Charles Haston and Vice President-elect Erica Tat of REDvolution won during the runoff elections and will lead almost all of the party into the 51st Student Government Association administration starting this fall.
The presidential slate was up for grabs during the runoff elections, which ended the evening of March 6. REDvolution captured more than 60 percent of the votes, beating out the “We” Party for the posts.
“I feel very humbled to follow behind (current president) Cedric (Bandoh) — I have very big shoes to fill. I just hope I don’t disappoint,” Haston said.
Though he declined to make his agenda public at this time, he hopes to push the Improve UH initiative forward, which Bandoh has done during his tenure.
“The first thing we will do is spend a month listening to students. Improve.uh.edu is a great tool, but students need to hear about it,” Haston said. “I plan to get SGA out hitting the pavement. We will have several tables out in Butler (Plaza) and the UC advertising Improve UH and talking to students to hear what their concerns are and letting them get to know their representatives.”
One of the points of REDvolution’s campaign platform was campus culture. The vice president-elect hopes to use her experience as director of the Council of Ethnic Organizations to complement Haston’s experience in SGA.
“It’s a really pivotal moment for the University. I’m really looking forward to how we can work together with the student organizations and administration to work together to see what we can do to improve student life on campus,” Tat said. “I would like to help SGA gain more visibility, more face-to-face opportunities, to help promote the Improve UH program.”
Though the “We” Party had the fewest candidates of the four that ran, they were able to successfully make it into the runoffs. Its presidential candidate, Naeem Abdullah, said many of the candidates of REDvolution were “bandwagoning” and “riding the wave” into office.
“All I want is for people to change and the betterment of the student body. I feel that REDvolution has done a great job campaigning and being a united force… It’s going to be more of the same,” Abdullah said. “I’m not saying that they haven’t created great relationships with the administration, but their challenge is that they’re going to have to change it up. If you want to be an agent of change, you have to empower your people to have a revolution.”
Twenty-six of REDvolution’s 28 running senatorial candidates won seats. House of Red won one seat, and Cougar Pawlitics won two. Of the five candidates in The “We” Party, one captured a position.