Bailey Gardin, DJ Evans elected next year’s student body president, vice president


Andy McLean

SGA released a statement Wednesday encouraging students to wear masks and get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Jackie Park and Jake Markland

Bailey Gardin and DJ Evans will serve as the student body president and vice president, respectively, for the 2021-22 academic year.

“I’m a first generation college student, now the president of a (predominantly white institution),” Gardin said. “This is a really cool moment.”

Gardin.Evans won the election with 64.03% of the vote, or 910 of the 1,421 total votes, compared to Adam Zebzda and Jenn Banh’s 34.69%, or 493 total votes. 

Write-ins made up 1.26% of the results, or 18 votes.

The 2021 student body president and vice president elections featured hybrid events, like the election results, which are usually reviewed in person, partially reviewed over Zoom with JJ Brown, vice chancellor of Student Affairs, Jeff Cathey, director of the Department of Student Engagement and Leadership and Devin Mullins, SGA election court chair joining virtually. (Andy McLean)

SGA Director of Elections Ardeshir Pirzadeh will certify the results later this week.

His certification will come after both campaigns have had the opportunity to file and resolve complaints against the opposing campaign. This period is known as the “due diligence” period and lasts four academic days, according to the SGA elections bylaws. 

However, Pirzadeh says the likelihood of someone contesting this election is low. He also said he’s happy with the elections and campaigns both tickets ran.

“We were able to run a complete election with a debate, campaigning and everything that normally happens, so I can’t complain at all,” Pirzadeh said.

Two referendums and 20 Senate seats were also filled in the elections.

Zebzda and Banh both currently serve in SGA as the director of external affairs and a multicultural affairs senator, respectively. The two are also both involved in the Town of Boone government.

Bailey Gardin (second from left) and DJ Evans (left) ran for student body president and vice president against Adam Zebzda (right) and Jenn Banh (second from right). Gardin and Evans ultimately won. (Andy McLean)

The pair said they’re sad at the results, but proud of the campaigns both tickets ran.

“This was more than just winning a title for both of us,” Zebzda said. “Whatever we can do to help them out and support them, we’re more than willing to do so.”

Banh said her campaign had ideas for next year that they’d both like to see fulfilled, despite the other ticket winning.

“We advocated for students before we were running and we’ll continue to after,” Banh said.

Gardin and Evans applauded Zebzda and Banh, saying they ran a great campaign, but said the Gardin.Evans campaign team worked hard to pull through in the end. 

“Thank you to all the supporters. Thank you to all the voters,” Gardin said. “Without them, we wouldn’t be here so to our team and to our supporters, DJ and I are truly grateful.”